University of Oulu

Jarva, E., Mikkonen, K., Tuomikoski, A.‐M., Kääriäinen, M., Meriläinen, M., Karsikas, E., Koivunen, K., Jounila‐Ilola, P. and Oikarinen, A. (2021), Healthcare professionals’ competence in stroke care pathways: A mixed‐methods systematic review. J Clin Nurs, 30: 1206-1235.

Healthcare professionals’ competence in stroke care pathways : a mixed-methods systematic review

Saved in:
Author: Jarva, Erika1; Mikkonen, Kristina1; Tuomikoski, Anna-Maria2,3;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Oulu, Finland
3The Finnish Centre for Evidence-Based Health Care: A Joanna Briggs Institute Centre of Excellence, Helsinki, Finland
4Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.9 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-04-12


Background: The challenges of caring for stroke patients are growing due to population ageing and improved survival rates. Healthcare professionals’ competence development in stroke care is a necessity to ensure high‐quality patient care.

Objectives: To identify and describe the competence areas of healthcare professionals working in the stroke patient care pathway and factors influencing these competences.

Design: A mixed‐methods systematic review.

Methods: The review was conducted according to the JBI guidelines and registered in the PROSPERO database (CRD42020204062). PRISMA checklist guided the review process. Relevant original studies were identified by searching four databases—CINAHL (EBSCO), PubMed, Scopus and Medic. After researcher consensus was reached, 32 studies were selected for inclusion and subjected to content analysis and data tabulation.

Results: Competence in care processes, clinical competence, competence in using self‐management strategies, interaction skills, skills in acknowledging family and competence in integrating the available evidence base into patient care were identified as key competence areas. Organisation of services, specialisation in stroke care, continuous development and education, family and carer and training in oral care and cognitive rehabilitation were identified as factors that influence healthcare professionals’ competence.

Conclusions: Diverse clinical and interaction competencies are needed throughout the stroke care pathway, and various factors affect healthcare professionals’ competence. Further research on healthcare professionals’ stroke care competence will be needed to respond to changing healthcare demand.

Relevance to clinical practice: We recommend organisational support and formulation of stroke care patient guidelines in line with healthcare competence requirements. Focus should be added for nursing professions in developing interactive communication competence since nurses spend the majority of the time providing individual patient care. Also, organisations should integrate continuing training in specialised stroke care for healthcare professionals’ competence development.

see all

Series: Journal of clinical nursing
ISSN: 0962-1067
ISSN-E: 1365-2702
ISSN-L: 0962-1067
Volume: 30
Issue: 9-10
Pages: 1206 - 1235
DOI: 10.1111/jocn.15612
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 316 Nursing
Funding: The reported review is part of the OSMU project funded by the European Social Fund as part of the ‘Sustainable growth and jobs 2014–2020 – Finland's structural funds programme'.
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. Journal of Clinical Nursing published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.