Do nurses know what the elderly patient needs?
New instrument for measuring knowledge: The KOP-Quiz
People of eighty years and older are admitted to the hospital relatively frequently, partly because they suffer from multiple chronic diseases. These admissions can lead to new geriatric issues and care complications. Nurses can prevent this by assessing risks and deploying preventive care. Nursing care during hospitalization strongly affects the prognosis of the elderly after admission.
Good knowledge of the (vulnerable) elderly patient and a positive attitude are important requirements for providing good nursing care. Previous studies show there is room for improvement. Researcher Jeroen Dikken recently obtained a PhD through his research on the development and validation of instruments for measuring the knowledge and attitude of hospital nurses in respect of care for elderly patients. He explains: ‘The most commonly used measuring instrument dated back to 1978: too old and invalid.
That is why we developed a new measuring instrument: The KOP-Quiz: the Knowledge about Older Patients-Quiz.’
The KOP-Quiz consists of 30 questions. The test shows whether the nurse has knowledge of the physical, psychological, social and emotional aspects that play a role in nursing elderly patients.
Now that it has been validated for the Netherlands and the United States, the KOP-Quiz is ready for implementation. A website with the KOP- Quiz is expected to be completed mid-2018, so nurses can easily assess themselves online. They will receive instant feedback on their knowledge level. Jeroen: ‘The test shows that there are nurses who wrongly think that they have enough knowledge. The feedback generates awareness and makes the step towards knowledge improvement a logical one.’ According to Dikken, the next step is the broad deployment of the quiz as an educational tool. Hospital departments can already start working with it. Ten STZ hospitals (Samenwerkende Topklinische opleidingsZiekenhuizen / Collaborative Tertiary Clinical Training Hospitals) are already deploying this instrument broadly to gain insight into the knowledge level within their organizations. There is also a lot of interest from abroad in working with the KOP-Quiz.