Section 60
Chapter 59,665

Effects of substituting nurse practitioners, physician assistants or nurses for physicians concerning healthcare for the ageing population: a systematic literature review

Lovink, M.H.; Persoon, A.; Koopmans, R.T.C.M.; Van Vught, A.J.A.H.; Schoonhoven, L.; Laurant, M.G.H.

Journal of Advanced Nursing 73(9): 2084-2102


ISSN/ISBN: 0309-2402
PMID: 28299815
DOI: 10.1111/jan.13299
Accession: 059664417

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To evaluate the effects of substituting nurse practitioners, physician assistants or nurses for physicians in long-term care facilities and primary healthcare for the ageing population (primary aim) and to describe what influences the implementation (secondary aim). Healthcare for the ageing population is undergoing major changes and physicians face heavy workloads. A solution to guarantee quality and contain costs might be to substitute nurse practitioners, physician assistants or nurses for physicians. A systematic literature review. PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, CENTRAL, Web of Science; searched January 1995-August 2015. Study selection, data extraction and quality appraisal were conducted independently by two reviewers. Outcomes collected: patient outcomes, care provider outcomes, process of care outcomes, resource use outcomes, costs and descriptions of the implementation. Data synthesis consisted of a narrative summary. Two studies used a randomized design and eight studies used other comparative designs. The evidence of the two randomized controlled trials showed no effect on approximately half of the outcomes and a positive effect on the other half of the outcomes. Results of eight other comparative study designs point towards the same direction. The implementation was influenced by factors on a social, organizational and individual level. Physician substitution in healthcare for the ageing population may achieve at least as good patient outcomes and process of care outcomes compared with care provided by physicians. Evidence about resource use and costs is too limited to draw conclusions.

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