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Content of clinical supervision sessions for nurses and allied health professionals: A systematic review

Philippa Pearce (Department of Physiotherapy, Ballarat Health Services, Ballarat, Australia)
Bev Phillips (Ballarat Health Services and La Trobe Rural Health School, La Trobe University, Ballarat, Australia)
Margaret Dawson (Department of Podiatry, Ballarat Health Services, Ballarat, Australia)
Sandra G. Leggat (School of Public Health, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia)

Clinical Governance: An International Journal

ISSN: 1477-7274

Article publication date: 19 April 2013

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the current evidence regarding the content of clinical supervision for nursing and allied health professionals.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors searched CINAHL, Medline, PsychINFO and Cochrane Database. Studies were included if the participants involved were nursing, medical or allied health practitioners, but not students, and if the studies contained discussion regarding the content of clinical supervision. Critical analysis of the articles was carried out by two independent researchers to ensure consistency and thematic analysis was applied.

Findings

Twenty included articles were in three main categories: cross‐sectional studies (n=9), including interview, survey and focus group methods of data collection; literature reviews (n=2); and nine published opinion pieces. Themes related to the content of clinical supervision that were identified were reflective practice; task oriented content; diversity of content; and stress management. The results indicated that current research into the content of clinical supervision for nursing and allied health practitioners is limited and of low quality and that further research is needed to determine what content in clinical supervision is associated with better quality and safety, particularly for health professions other than nursing and psychology.

Originality/value

This is the first review of the current evidence for what constitutes the most appropriate content of clinical supervision for health professionals. Clinical supervision is an important component of quality assurance and clinical governance frameworks and it is essential that health care organizations are assured that effective clinical supervision is in place.

Keywords

Citation

Pearce, P., Phillips, B., Dawson, M. and Leggat, S.G. (2013), "Content of clinical supervision sessions for nurses and allied health professionals: A systematic review", Clinical Governance: An International Journal, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 139-154. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777271311317927

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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