Presenting … Sociologist Ana Cartaxo

Missed Nursing Care in Austria

The Corona crisis has shown: nurses keep our health system running. And although Austria has the highest hospital bed density, the number of nursing staff is low. Ana Cartaxo is investigating this discrepancy in her PhD project. Watch the video to learn more about her research.
How can health policy in Austria be improved? This is what Ana Cartaxo is investigating in her PhD project. Watch the video to find out more! © Benjamin Furtlehner

Nurses play an important role in hospitals assuring timely delivery and high quality of patient care. But are nurses in Austrian hospitals currently able to provide every necessary aspect of patient care?

Missed nursing care is an error of omission, which occurs when a necessary nursing intervention is not initiated or performed in time. "Austria is one of the countries in Europe with the highest hospital bed density. Nevertheless, it has one of the lowest numbers of nurses available. Despite this discrepancy, there is not any significant research on missed nursing care in Austrian hospitals, which would be of the utmost importance taking into account the current pandemic," Ana Cartaxo, PhD candidate at the Vienna Doctoral School of Social Sciences (ViDSS) says.

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Her aim is, therefore, to survey missed care in this setting and to identify its most relevant influencing factors using a mixed-methods approach. She investigates differences based on data relating to hospitals and wards and nurses’ sociodemographic and work-related data. "After developing a survey for general units in Austrian hospitals, I collected data on the frequency and on the main reasons for missed nursing care. Currently, I am analysing this data using complex statistical methods," the PhD candidate explains. 

Through her research she will be able to uncover the most important influencing factors on missed nursing care in Austrian general hospital units. "But most importantly we will be able to make recommendations for intervention development and healthcare policy when tackling this problem in this country," the young researcher says.

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© Benjamin Furtlehner
© Benjamin Furtlehner
Ana Cartaxo is a PhD candidate at the Vienna Doctoral School of Social Sciences (ViDSS) at the University of Vienna. Her research focuses on missed nursing care in general units in Austrian hospitals.