Understanding how general practice nurses support adult lifestyle risk reduction: An integrative review

Publication Name

Journal of Advanced Nursing


Aim: To review the literature exploring how general practice nurses support lifestyle risk reduction. Design: Integrative literature review. Sources: CINAHL, Emcare, MEDLINE, Proquest and Scopus were searched for peer-reviewed primary research published in English from 2010 to 2022. Methods: Sixteen papers met the inclusion criteria and were assessed for methodological quality using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. Findings were extracted and thematically analysed. Results: Four themes described general practice nurses: (1) Establishing relational connections; (2) Empowering active participation; (3) Engaging mutual motivation and (4) Enabling confident action. General practice nurses used complex interpersonal, risk communication and health coaching skills to build collaborative partnerships that supported patients' self-determination and self-efficacy. While mutual motivation and confidence were reciprocally enabling, gaps in skills, experience and knowledge plus time, resource and role constraints limited general practice nurses' ability to support lifestyle risk reduction. Conclusion: General practice nurses play a key role in lifestyle risk reduction. Ongoing education, funding, organizational and professional support are needed to enhance their commitment, confidence and capacity. Impact: What problem did the study address? While general practice nurses play a key role in health promotion and risk reduction, their potential is yet to be fully realized. Research examining methods by which nurses working in general practice support lifestyle risk reduction is limited. What were the main findings? Successful interactions depended on personal, professional, organisational and systemic factors which either enhanced or inhibited relational quality, shared decision-making, mutual commitment, and nurses' confidence and capacity to address lifestyle risks. Targeted professional development and peer mentoring are needed to build proficient practice. Where and on whom will the research have impact? Understanding how general practice nurses support risk reduction can inform policy and identify training and support needs to advance their skills and role. Research exploring synergies between themes may illuminate this process.

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