25 September 2018
The ambulance services are associated with emergency medicine, traumatology and disaster medicine, which is also reflected in previous research. Caring science research is limited and, since no systematic reviews have yet been produced, its focus is unclear. This makes it difficult for researchers to identify current knowledge gaps and clinicians to implement research findings.
This integrative systematic review aims to describe caring science research content and scope in the ambulance services.
Databases included were MEDLINE (PubMed), CINAHL, Web of Science, Pro QDiss, LibrisDiss and The Cochrane Library. The electronic search strategy was carried out between March and April 2015. The review was conducted in line with the standards of the PRISMA statement, registration number: PROSPERO 2016: CRD42016034156.
The review process involved problem identification, literature search, data evaluation, data analysis and reporting. Thematic data analysis was undertaken using a five‐stage method. Studies included were evaluated with methodological and/or theoretical rigour on a 3‐level scale, and data relevance was evaluated on a 2‐level scale.
After the screening process, a total of 78 studies were included. The majority of these were conducted in Sweden (n = 42), fourteen in the United States and eleven in the United Kingdom. The number of study participants varied, from a case study with one participant to a survey with 2420 participants, and 28 (36%) of the studies were directly related to patients. The findings were identified under the themes: Caregiving in unpredictable situations; Independent and shared decision‐making; Public environment and patient safety; Life‐changing situations; and Ethics and values.
Caring science research with an explicit patient perspective is limited. Areas of particular interest for future research are the impact of unpredictable encounters on openness and sensitivity in the professional–patient relation, with special focus on value conflicts in emergency situations.