Nurses’ objective knowledge regarding venous thromboembolism prophylaxis: A national survey study

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Abstract

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common vascular disorder with high mortality and morbidity. Clinical nurses are a pivotal group that can serve as first-line health care providers. Lack of knowledge about VTE is an important barrier to effective nursing performance. This study aimed to determine nurses’ knowledge of VTE prophylaxis through a nationwide survey across China, to understand gaps between current knowledge, and guidelines, and to help improve clinical nursing.

The survey included 5 topics with 68 items on VTE, including basic knowledge, risk assessment, basic prophylaxis, physical prophylaxis, and pharmacological prophylaxis.

The survey was distributed to 106 AAA-grade hospitals throughout China; 5218 valid questionnaires were submitted for analysis. There were 5097 women and 121 men respondents, with average age 30.29 ± 8.60 years. The average rate of correct responses regarding VTE knowledge was 59.90 ± 15.63%; 77.81% of subjects answered more than half of the survey items correctly. Better knowledge about thromboprophylaxis was observed among nurses who were more highly educated, more experienced, had received continuing education, intensive care unit (ICU), and lead nurses. Correct response rates were 68.39 ± 17.03%, 60.35 ± 21.01%, 75.51 ± 22.85%, 41.72 ± 17.47%, and 46.01 ± 21.22% for basic knowledge, risk assessment, basic prophylaxis, physical prophylaxis, and pharmacological prophylaxis, respectively.

Respondents showed satisfactory results regarding basic prophylaxis, basic knowledge, and risk assessment for VTE; respondents had poorer knowledge regarding physical and pharmacological prophylaxis. Better mastery of knowledge about thromboprophylaxis was observed among nurses who were more highly educated, more experienced, had received continuous education, ICU, and lead nurses.

This study suggested that nurse trainers should develop comprehensive educational programs that focus on low correct rate aspects. Higher-level continuous education could improve nurses’ knowledge of thromboprophylaxis.

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