MARCH 28 2012 03:21h
Most who contact telenurse follow advice
Dr. Bev Williams, associate professor at the University of Alberta, and colleagues spoke to 312 people who called the LINK telephone health advice line, established in 2000 in Alberta.
"LINK is a telephone triage service provided by qualified nurses 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Williams said in a statement. "Nurses use computer-assisted guidelines and their own nursing experience to assess a caller's health concerns before suggesting the most appropriate type of care. Their advice is in accordance with evidence-based treatment protocols that are regularly reviewed in line with the latest medical and nursing literature. At the end of the call, the nurse recommends that the patient either engages in self-care at home, pays a routine visit to their practitioner, visits an emergency department immediately or calls an ambulance."
The study, scheduled to be published in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing, found 92 percent of the callers were women -- 85 percent were age 40 and under, and most were ages 18-29.
Seven percent of callers were in their 40s, 5 percent were in their 50s and 3 percent were age 60 or older, Williams said.
The most common calls were about colds and flu, pregnancy/post pregnancy, diarrhea/vomiting and infections/diseases.
Nearly two-thirds of calls were for help in caring for someone else -- and in 94 percent of those cases, the other person was a child.
EDMONTON, Alberta, March 27 (UPI) -- Seven-out-of-eight people who sought advice from a nurse telephone helpline followed the advice, researchers in Canada said.