An integrative review of missed nursing care and the general practice nurse

Aust J Prim Health. 2024 Feb 6. doi: 10.1071/PY23127. Online ahead of print.


Background: The phenomenon of missed care has received increasing interest over the past decade. Previous studies have used a missed care framework to identify missed nursing tasks, although these have primarily been within the acute care environment. The aim of this research was to identify missed care specific to the role of the general practice nurse.

Methods: An integrative review method was adopted, using The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool to assist in a methodological appraisal of both experimental, theoretical, and qualitative studies. Thematic analysis was then used to analyse and present a narrative synthesis of the data.

Data sources: CINAHL, SCOPUS, Web of Science and Google Scholar databases were searched between 2011 and 2022 for empirical research that reported missed care and the general practice nurse.

Results: Of the 787 papers identified, 10 papers met the inclusion criteria. Three themes identified missed care in relation to primary healthcare nurses: under-staffing and resourcing, communication difficulties, and role confusion.

Conclusion: Isolating missed care by general practice nurses was challenging because much of the research failed to separate out general practice nurses from community and primary health care nurses. This challenge was exacerbated by disparity in the way that a general practice nurse is defined and presented in the various databases. While some themes such as those related to communication and understaffing and resourcing demonstrate some parallels with the acute sector, more research is required to identify missed care specific to the general practice nurse.