Effects on nurses’ quality of working life and on patients’ quality of life of an educational intervention to strengthen humanistic practice among haemodialysis nurses in Switzerland : a mixed methods

HEdS-La Source, Philippe Delmas,
01.10.2017 - 31.08.2020
Division 1 : Sciences humaines et sociales


Educational intervention; quality of working life of haemodialysis nurses; Watson’s theory of human caring; quality of life of haemodialysis patients


Haemodialysis (HD) patients constitute a vulnerable population with considerable health needs. They are often older persons with comorbid chronic conditions.

Despite the substantial technical care they receive, these patients indicate that the quality of the human relationship that develops with nurses–the pivotal element in the care this population receives–can become therapeutic. This feature of the human relationship constitutes the cornerstone of the humanistic practice (caring practice) that all nurses should adhere to. However, according to some authors, such practice tends to fade over time. In 2012, a pilot study  allowed to test an educational intervention based on Watson’s Theory of Human Caring, the aim of which was to optimise nurses’ humanistic practices. The intervention, first developed in Quebec and adapted in Switzerland by a committee of experts, was delivered to a group of nine HD nurses (Canton of Vaud, Switzerland) and evaluated. Preliminary results (qualitative and quantitative) showed the intervention to be highly feasible and acceptable. Moreover, in terms of preliminary outcomes, participating nurses appeared to strengthen their caring attitudes/behaviours toward HD patients post-intervention.

Quantitative analyses of patients’ questionnaires showed that HD patients (6) perceived significant changes in nurses’ caring attitudes/behaviours and maintained their level of quality of life (QoL) over time, which is a definite gain for this population. In light of these positive results, it is important to pursue this line of investigation in order to examine more accurately the intervention’s effects on both nurses and patients. To this end, we propose conducting a mixed-methods cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) to assess the effects of an educational intervention to strengthen humanistic practice among nurses working in HD units in French Switzerland, on perceived quality of the nurse-patient relationship (NPR), nurses’ team cohesion, nurses’ quality of working life (QoWL), and HD patients’ QoL. Knowledge acquired in the course of the study will contribute to strengthen nurses’ humanistic practice, a key factor in HD patients’ QoL.




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