Nursing Research Group

Tone Rustøen
Group leader

The members of the research group consists mainly of nurses from Division of Emergencies and Critical Care. Intensive care nurses do most of the research, but we also have two anesthesia nurses and two operating room nurses as members of the research group. In addition the group participates in initiating and strengthening research in the other divisions in OUS. Nurses from several clinics at OUS are associated members in our group, as well as nurses from outside OUS. Our research covers different topics, but most of the research is on symptoms related to ICU patients and their family caregivers. The members of the research group cover different methodological approaches. In addition to many individual studies, we have two big projects with sub-studies, and a regional network about symptom management connected to the group.

One of the big studies is led by Kirsti Tøien (intensive care nurse, post doc): An RCT to evaluate the effect of nurse led follow up after being a patient in the ICU. Two PhD candidates are connected to this project (Åse Valsø and Mona Austenå). Valsø will mainly focus on differences in post-traumatic stress symptoms and sense of coherence after the intervention, while Austenå will focus on differences in quality of life and return to work in the different groups. Today, 523 patients are included and followed for one year. All included patients were screened for post-traumatic stress symptoms. If they had a stress level above a level that indicated bothersome symptoms they were randomised to follow up talks (n= 113) with an intensive care nurse with special training in this task, or a control group (n=114). Patients with a score below a bothersome level of posttraumatic stress symptoms were not randomised but participated as a comparing group (n=300).

The other big study is led by Kristin Hofsø (intensive care nurse, post doc): Symptoms, functional status and quality of life in intensive care patients. The study is a longitudinal study that will follow a heterogeneous sample (n=500) of ICU patients for 12 months from admission. The impact of pre comorbid conditions, clinical characteristics and treatment on symptoms during the ICU (until 7 days) as well as a set of core outcome measures (i.e., functional status, cognitive function, post-traumatic stress disorder, quality of life, anxiety and depression and general symptoms) longitudinally will be examined. Data from national health registers will be collected to look into rehabilitation services and degree of sick leave. The data collection will start May 1, 2018. One PhD student (Christin S. Hansen) is working on the study and additional two more candidates have received a grant to improve protocols that will be part of the main study. The study Symptom communication in the intensive care patients conducted by PhD candidate Ragnhild Nyhagen, is an important contribution to the above study, with the qualitative approach, and the researchers within the two studies are collaborating.

We have a network funded by Helse Sør Øst: Norwegian Symptom Management Network (NORSMAN). The overall purpose of this network is to strengthen research that is focused on decreasing symptom burden and improving quality of life outcomes in patients with chronic medical conditions. The network supports the research in the nursing research group.