Nurses' role in health promotion and prevention: a critical interpretive synthesis
Background Role confusion is hampering the development of nurses' capacity for health promotion and prevention. Addressing this requires discussion to reach agreement among nurses, managers, co-workers, professional associations, academics and organisations about the nursing activities in this field. Forming a sound basis for this discussion is essential. Aims and objectives To provide a description of the state of nursing health promotion and prevention practice expressed in terms of activities classifiable under the Ottawa Charter and to reveal the misalignments between this portrayal and the ideal one proposed by the Ottawa Charter. Methods A critical interpretive synthesis was conducted between December 2018 and May 2019. The PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus, PsychINFO, Web of Science and Dialnet databases were searched. Sixty-two papers were identified. The relevant data were extracted using a pro-forma, and the reviewers performed an integrative synthesis. The ENTREQ reporting guidelines were used for this review. Results Thirty synthetic constructs were developed into the following synthesising arguments: (a) addressing individuals' lifestyles versus developing their personal skills; (b) focusing on environmental hazards versus creating supportive environments; (c) action on families versus strengthening communities; (d) promoting community partnerships versus strengthening community action; and (e) influencing policies versus building healthy public policy. Conclusions There are notable misalignments between nurses' current practice in health promotion and prevention and the Ottawa Charter's actions and strategies. This may be explained by the nurses' lack of understanding of health promotion and prevention and political will, research methodological flaws, the predominance of a biomedical perspective within organisations and the lack of organisational prioritisation for health promotion and prevention.