Measures of Cost Containment, Impact of The Economical Crisis, and the Effects Perceived in Nursing Daily Practice: An Italian Crossover Study

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY▸ A qualitative/quantitative study in two phases was undertaken to describe the economical crisis intensity, cost-containment interventions adopted locally, and their effects perceived in daily practice by Italian nurses.▸ The main economic crisis effects reported by nurses were (a) the staff stress level has increased, (b) patients with social problems have increased, and (c) the workload has increased.▸ Overall, nurses perceived moderate disadvantages due to the economical crisis; several cost-containment measures have been adopted at different levels of the National Health Service.▸ Patients in general seem frailer and nurses working in the community centers also seem frailer compared with nurses working at the hospital level.▸ Changes in daily nursing practice both at the hospital and community levels are warning signs that should be monitored carefully for both their short and long-term negative impacts on patients, nurses, and the National Health Service.

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