oa Curationis - Knowledge of nurses regarding dysphagia in patients post stroke in Namibia : original research
Background: Stroke patients commonly experience dysphagia post stroke. Complications of dysphagia include aspiration leading to chest infection and pneumonia, malnutrition, dehydration, and a subsequent increased risk of death. Its early diagnosis and management is an important prerequisite for recovery from stroke during the rehabilitation phase. As nurses are the first health personnel that interact with a patient post stroke, it is important that they are knowledgeable and skilled in the screening of these patients for dysphagia.
Objective: The aim of the study was to determine the knowledge and factors associated with knowledge of nurses regarding dysphagia in stroke patients.
Methods: The study used a quantitative survey to determine the knowledge of the nurses employed at an intermediate hospital in Namibia. A convenient sample of 182 participants completed a self-administered questionnaire with closed-ended questions, which was developed by the researcher. The data was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics.
Results: The findings of the study confirmed that nurses have a moderate knowledge of the signs, symptoms, and complications of dysphagia, but poor knowledge about its management. Training and experience in the care of dysphagia patients was a stronger predictor of knowledge than the initial qualification or years of experience as a nurse.
Conclusion: Post basic training in dysphagia would better equip nurses to manage stroke patients in the acute phase.
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