Background: There are potential health gains such as reducing early deaths, years spent in ill-health and costs to society and the health and care system by encouraging NHS staff to use encounters with patients to help individuals significantly reduce their risk of disease. Emergency department staff and paramedics are in a unique position to engage with a wide range of the population and to use these contacts as opportunities to help people improve their health. The aim of this research was to examine barriers and facilitators to effective health promotion by urgent and emergency care staff. Methods: A systematic search of the literature was performed to review and synthesise published evidence relating to barriers and facilitators to effective health promotion by urgent and emergency care staff. Medical and social science databases were searched for articles published between January 2000 and December 2021 and the reference lists of included articles were hand searched. Two reviewers independently screened the studies and assessed risk of bias. Data was extracted using a bespoke form created for the study. Results: A total of 19 papers were included in the study. Four themes capture the narratives of the included research papers: 1) should it be part of our job?; 2) staff comfort in broaching the topic; 3) format of health education; 4) competency and training needs. Whilst urgent and emergency care staff view health promotion as part of their job, time restraints and a lack of knowledge and experience are identified as barriers to undertaking health promotion interventions. Staff and patients have different priorities in terms of the health topics they feel should be addressed. Patients reported receiving books and leaflets as well as speaking with a knowledgeable person as their preferred health promotion approach. Staff often stated the need for more training. Conclusions: Few studies have investigated the barriers to health promotion interventions in urgent and emergency care settings and there is a lack of evidence about the acceptability of health promotion activity. Additional research is needed to determine whether extending the role of paramedics and emergency nurses to include health promotion interventions will be acceptable to staff and patients.
Schofield, B., Rolfe, U., McClean, S., Hoskins, R., Voss, S., & Benger, J. (2022). What are the barriers and facilitators to effective health promotion in urgent and emergency care? A systematic review. BMC Emergency Medicine, 22(1), Article 95. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12873-022-00651-3