Wound care in the community setting: Clinical decision making in context

Christine E. Hallett, Lynn Austin, Ann Caress, Karen A. Luker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Sixty-two community nurses in northern England of grades B and D to H were interviewed by a team of four researchers. The interviews were semi-structured, and were tape-recorded, fully transcribed and content analysed. They were conducted as part of a larger study, the aim of which was to examine community nurses' perceptions of quality in nursing care. One of the main themes the work focused on was decision-making as an element of quality. Data relating to wound care were considered from the perspective of the insights they offered into clinical decision-making. Data were interpreted in the light of a literature review in which a distinction had been made between theories which represented clinical decision-making as a linear or staged process and those which represented it as intuitive. Within the former category, three subcategories were suggested: theorists could be divided into 'pragmatists', 'systematisers' and those who advocated 'diagnostic reasoning'. The interpretation of the data suggested that the clinical decisions made by community nurses in the area of wound care appeared largely intuitive, yet were also closely related to 'diagnostic reasoning'. They were furthermore based on a range of sources of information and justified by a number of different types of rationale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-793
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes


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