Health SA Gesondheid (Online)
On-line version ISSN 1025-9848
LOUBSER, Hendrik J.; BRUCE, Judith C. and CASTELEIJN, Daleen. The BETA nursing measure: Its development and testing for nursing utility. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2013, vol.18, n.1, pp. 1-9. ISSN 1025-9848.
In the specialised nursing fields of rehabilitation, convalescence and gerontology requiring restorative nursing interventions, nurses are unable to measure, assess and evaluate accurately and routinely the outcomes of their patients' activities of daily living (ADLs) due to the lack of validated nursing measures. The purpose of this study was to develop a nursing scale, named the BETA, which can be used routinely and embedded into the nursing process and care plan, enabling the primary nursing carer to measure, assess and evaluate patients' ADLs. The first objective was to design and develop the BETA, a routine nursing scale, whereby caregivers and nursing auxiliaries can observe, score and record their patients' activities of daily living. The second objective was to test the BETA's nursing utility to be used routinely. Two qualitative studies were done sequentially. Firstly, individual interviews were conducted to collect descriptive data from registered nurses (n = 6), nursing assistants, (n = 8) and caregivers (n = 16), skilled in the field of restorative care. In the first study, the data were analysed using inductive content analysis techniques to design and construct the BETA nursing measure. In the second study, the BETA's nursing utility was studied by means of the training of and testing the application of the BETA by a new team of professional nurses (n = 6) and caregivers (n = 48) working in a geriatric frail care unit. After 6 months, two homogenous focus groups consisting of registered nurses (n = 3) and caregivers (n = 5) representing this team were interviewed to explore the BETA's nursing utility. Descriptive data in the second study were analysed using deductive content analysis. The initial results were promising. The high levels of agreement on its acceptance, usefulness and confidence, to be used routinely as a nursing scale, confirmed the BETA's nursing utility. The BETA nursing scale has the potential to introduce restorative nursing as a new specialisation field in South African nursing, a much needed service required by patients and multidisciplinary teams. This, however, will depend on the construct validity of the BETA, a study to be reported on in a follow-up article.