Attitudes towards, and information needs in relation to, supplementary nurse prescribing in the UK: an empirical study

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Aims and objectivesThe main aim of the study is to assess the views of people, who have not yet experienced nurse prescribing, to determine their level of confidence in nurse as opposed to doctor prescribing, effects on likely adherence and concerns that they might have. Additionally, the extent to which people would want nurses to provide an explanation for medicine choice and the type of information wanted was examined.BackgroundNurse prescribing has been successfully implemented in the UK in a number of healthcare settings. Existing research has not addressed effects on people's confidence and likely adherence, nor have people's information needs been established. However, we know that inadequate medicines information provision by health professionals is one of the largest causes of patient dissatisfaction.MethodsA convenience sample of 74 members of the general population self-completed a written questionnaire.ResultsIn general, people would have confidence in the nurse having prescribed the best medicine and say that they would be very likely to take the medicine. Concerns identified did not specifically relate to the nurses' status. Support is provided for the importance of nurses providing a full explanation about medicines, and some indication about which categories of information should be included. Information about medication side effects was most wanted by participants.ConclusionsIndependent and Supplementary Prescribing are pivotal to modernizing the NHS. The current study establishes people's initial views and concerns about nurse prescribing and assesses information needs. Support for initiating follow-on studies with particular patient groups is also provided.Implications for clinical practicePeople who have not yet experienced nurse prescribing are, in general, positive about nurses adopting this role. It is important that nurses provide appropriate information about the prescribed medicines, in a form that can be understood. This should include information about medication side effects.

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