Organisational support for nurses in acute care settings: a rapid evidence review

Alistair Hewison, Yvonne Sawbridge


Background: It is recognised that if high standards of patient care are to be provided, nursing staff need to be supported in managing the emotional component of their work.

Objective: The purpose of the review reported here was to examine the relevant literature to determine which approaches to staff support are effective in enabling nurses to manage the emotional content of their work. Design: A Rapid Evidence Assessment was conducted.

Methods: Rapid Evidence Assessment methods were used to identify and evaluate the relevant literature. Data sources: Peer reviewed journal papers retrieved as a result of a systematic literature search.

Results: A total of 1,869 papers were identified following two searches of electronic databases and 25 papers were included in the review. Thematic analysis identified three main themes in the papers: The importance of leadership-particularly emotionally intelligent leadership; the impact of aspects of the emotional content of nurses’ work on their practice; and approaches to supporting staff.

Conclusions: The results confirmed the recognition of staff support as being crucial to patient care, and the role of leadership and a number of specific interventions including mindfulness, reflection and supervision were reported. However although there are many approaches to the provision of emotional support for nurses, there is little evidence to demonstrate their widespread implementation. It is accepted that emotion is central to nursing, yet how best to manage this in an organisational context is less clear.

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International Journal of Healthcare  ISSN 2377-7338(Print)  ISSN 2377-7346(Online)

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