Nurses as good as doctors in providing primary care
Nurses substituting for doctors in primary care achieve results that are as good or better, a review of trials shows
In the face of changing populations, increased healthcare demands, workforce shortages and financial austerity, interest has grown in new models of primary care in which nurses undertake work previously carried out by doctors.
This Cochrane systematic review of randomised controlled trials investigated the impact of nurses working as substitutes for primary care doctors.
It identified 18 trials conducted in seven countries – the UK, the Netherlands, the US, Canada, South Africa, Spain and Sweden. The studies looked at nurses in first contact care and ongoing care for chronic conditions such as diabetes. It was not always clear if the nurses were advanced clinical practitioners or registered nurses.
Equal clinical outcomes
The findings included:
- Eight studies (rated