Stepping outside the consultation room. On nurse-patient relationship and nursing responsibilities during a type 2 diabetes walking project

Mirjam Stuij, Agnes Elling-Machartzki, Tineke A. Abma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aims: To examine the care practices of nurses during the organization of 20 weeks of walking sessions for people with type 2 diabetes and to reflect on implications for nurse–patient relationships and nursing responsibilities in the provision of physical activity (PA) care. Design: Qualitative, ethnographic study. Methods: Almost 70 hr of field work was completed by participant observations and informal conversations with nurses and participating patients of two different walking groups (April–October 2016). Analysis of field notes followed an inductive holistic‐content approach, using both within‐case and across‐case analysis. Results: The analysis revealed four main themes related to the nurses' care practices: (a) organizational efforts; (b) combining group and individual care; (c) stepping in‐ and outside the patient mode; and (d) implications back inside the consultation room. Underlying these themes was a process of relational development, both with and among patients. Conclusion: Stepping outside the consultation room seems to offer more space for patients' lifeworld narratives and contribute to more continuous and person‐centred care. However, it also raises new questions about the provision of PA care and nursing responsibilities in this. Impact: Current nursing repertoires for PA counselling in type 2 diabetes care are insufficient and might be extended by organizing walking sessions for patients. Related nursing care practices impacted relationships both with and among participating patients. These have consequences for boundaries of both nursing responsibilities and care provision.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1943-1952
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

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