Evaluating emergency nurse practitioner services: a randomised controlled trial

Mark Cooper, Grace M. Lindsay, Sue Kinn, Ian J. Swann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Emergency Nurse Practitioners (ENP) are increasingly managing minor injuries in Accident and Emergency departments across the United Kingdom. This study aimed to develop methods and tools that could be used to measure the quality of ENP-led care. These tools were then tested in a randomized controlled trial. A convenience sample of 199 eligible patients, over 16 years old, and with specific minor injuries was randomized either to ENP-led care ( n = 99) or Senior House Officer (SHO)-led care ( n = 100) and were diagnosed, treated, referred or discharged by this lead clinician. Following treatment, patients were asked to complete a patient satisfaction questionnaire related to the consultation. Clinical documentation was assessed using a ‘Documentation Audit Tool’. A follow-up questionnaire was sent to all patients at 1 month. Return visits to the department and missed injuries were monitored. The study was sufficiently large to demonstrate higher levels of patient satisfaction and clinical documentation quality with ENP-led than SHO-led care. A larger study involving 769 patients in each arm would be required to detect a 2% difference in missed injury rates. The methods and tools used in this trial could be used in Accident and Emergency departments to measure the quality of ENP-led care.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2002



  • emrgency nurse services
  • accident and emergency
  • minor injuries

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