The relationship between patient obesity and nursing workload: An integrative review
Journal of Clinical Nursing
School of Nursing and Midwifery
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Aims and objectives: To explore the relationship between patient obesity and nursing workload, and discuss the nursing activities most affected by patient obesity. Background: The increasing number of patients with obesity, and the severity of obesity, impacts the healthcare workforce, particularly to nurses who provide most direct care to patients. There is growing evidence to suggest that patient obesity may increase nursing workload and time taken for clinical care. Design: Integrative review. Methods: A comprehensive search of academic databases for primary research related to patient obesity and nursing workload, published since 2000, was conducted. References of relevant articles were hand-searched. Results: 27 articles were analysed. Analysis was undertaken at the levels of patient characteristics, nursing work and the healthcare system. The increasing number of patients with obesity, and the severity of patient obesity, increases nursing workload by affecting nursing time needed to deliver care. An increased number of nurses, particularly with increased clinical skill, are needed to deliver care meeting these increased needs. Organisational change is required to provide infrastructure and bariatric equipment that enables effective nursing care of patients with obesity. Organisations must consider additional time and staff needs when delivering care for patients with obesity. Conclusions: The current health system is not established to address the challenge of providing nursing care to the increasing numbers of patients with obesity. Further research on accurately and objectively quantifying the impact and severity of patient obesity on nursing clinical activities is required. Relevance to clinical practice: When determining staffing, healthcare organisations must consider the increased nursing staff, time and clinical skill required to provide care for patients with obesity. Healthcare organisations should implement policies that ensure sufficient staffing in areas where care of patients with obesity is prevalent, and provide training for and workplace availability of bariatric equipment.
Huang, S. L., Cheng, H., Duffield, C., & Denney‐Wilson, E. (2021). The relationship between patient obesity and nursing workload: An integrative review. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 30(13-14), 1810-1825. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.15679