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Measurement of Patient Acuity Related to Clinical Research: Concept Clarification and Review of the Literature

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 — Poster Session I

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
FAES Terrace


  • CW Brennan
  • M Krumlauf
  • K Feigenbaum
  • K Gartrell
  • G Cusack


Aim: The aim of the review was to define research intensity and its grounding in a conceptual framework and report available patient acuity instruments to measure research intensity. Background: In research settings, clinical and research requirements contribute to nursing workload, staffing decisions, and resource allocation. Measurement of both clinical and research needs is needed. Design: The design of the review was based on recommendations from the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination Data Sources: An initial literature search was conducted in October, 2014, followed by an updated search in April, 2016, in PubMed, CINAHL and PsycNET databases. Review Methods: The review process included defining search terms, developing inclusion and exclusion criteria followed by abstract review by three team members, thorough reading of each article by two team members, and data extraction procedures, including a quality appraisal of each article. This process yielded 52 articles. Results: Few instruments are available to measure research intensity and few discussed conceptual frameworks for developing research intensity instruments. To achieve conceptual clarity, this article proposes an updated definition of research intensity, based on Holzemer’s Model for Healthcare Research and the Integrated Framework for a Systems Approach to Nurse Staffing Research: Research intensity is the nursing care needs, complexity, and workload of the research participant, driven by the research protocol. Conclusion: These findings provide conceptual clarity and foundational work for tool development. Measuring research intensity has the potential to enhance workforce allocation and advance the science of acuity measurement and outcomes research for acuity-based staffing decisions.

Category: Research Support Services