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Nursing Research and Practice
Volume 2013, Article ID 715802, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/715802
Clinical Study

An Investigation of the Glucose Monitoring Practices of Nurses in Stroke Care: A Descriptive Cohort Study

1School of Nursing, University of Ulster, Northland Road, Londonderry BT487JL, UK
2School of Nursing, University of Ulster and Western Health and Social Care Trust, Londonderry BT476SB, UK
3Consultant Neurologist, Department of Neurology, Altnagelvin Hospital, Western Health and Social Care Trust, Londonderry BT476SB, UK

Received 18 April 2013; Revised 12 June 2013; Accepted 22 July 2013

Academic Editor: Kathleen Finlayson

Copyright © 2013 Elizabeth Ann Laird et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Glucose derangement is commonly observed among adults admitted to hospital with acute stroke. This paper presents the findings from a descriptive cohort study that investigated the glucose monitoring practices of nurses caring for adults admitted to hospital with stroke or transient ischaemic attack. We found that a history of diabetes mellitus was strongly associated with initiation of glucose monitoring and higher frequency of that monitoring. Glucose monitoring was continued for a significantly longer duration of days for adults with a history of diabetes mellitus, when compared to the remainder of the cohort. As glucose monitoring was not routine practice for adults with no history of diabetes mellitus, the detection and treatment of hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia events could be delayed. There was a significant positive association between the admission hospital that is most likely to offer stroke unit care and the opportunity for glucose monitoring. We concluded that adults with acute stroke, irrespective of their diabetes mellitus status prior to admission to hospital, are vulnerable to both hyperglycaemic and hypoglycaemic events. This study suggests that the full potential of nurses in the monitoring of glucose among hospitalised adults with stroke has yet to be realised.