An evaluation of nursing practice models in the context of the severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic in Hong Kong: A preliminary study

Engle Angela Chan, Joanne W Y Chung, Thomas K S Wong, Joseph C S Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Aim and objective. Like other health-care workers, Hong Kong nurses had their professional knowledge and skills seriously challenged during the SARS outbreak. Could current nursing practices support the care of SARS or SARS-like patients in the future? If not, alternative practices would be needed. Providing a preliminary understanding, this paper compares the conventional with different nursing delivery models in a simulated SARS ward and focuses on nurses' efficiency, infection control practices and views of the two models. Design and methods. This study was conducted in three phases. First, a baseline understanding of nursing practices was achieved through four workflow observations. In an eight-hour day, four research assistants observed nursing activities in the medical and fever wards. These data were used in the second phase to construct two sets of clinical vignettes, pertaining to SARS patient care in both conventional and alternative practice models. These scripts were discussed with nine nurses of various ranks from the hospital under study for their expert validation and input. In the third phase, nurse participants and patient actors enacted the vignettes in a simulated setting. Video-taped observations and four nurse participant interviews were employed. Observational data were analysed through descriptive statistics and independent t-tests. Textual data were coded and categorized for common meanings. Results. Conventional practice from the findings consisted of cubicle and named nurse nursing. While the former reflected modified team and functional nursing, it did not confine patient care within a cubicle as suggested by its name. The latter depicted a modified primary nursing approach in a team, with delegation of care. Preliminary findings concerning infection control and nurse satisfaction revealed that the alternative model had an advantage over the conventional. Relevance to clinical practice. This study findings lay the foundation for clinical trials, which would evaluate the significance of patient-care quality, cost-effectiveness and better human resource management by restructuring current nursing practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-670
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2006


  • Hong Kong
  • Infection control practice and education
  • Nurses' views
  • Nursing delivery models
  • SARS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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