Gaining an understanding of the barriers to help promotion activities undertaken by emergency department nurses and paramedics.

Study team

Study summary

The NHS is committed to helping patients reduce their risk of disease whenever they see healthcare staff. This could reduce early deaths, years spent in ill-health and costs to the health and care system. 

Emergency department nurses and paramedics are in a unique position to communicate with a wide range of people and to use these interactions to help people improve their health, especially when patients are not critically unwell. 

This mixed-methods study will explore: 

  • if ambulance paramedics and emergency department nurses carry out health promotion activities, e.g. giving advice on diet or exercise
  • what affects these activities 
  • the views of staff and patients on possible health promotion opportunities when giving or receiving urgent and emergency care. 

We will send an online questionnaire to emergency nurses and paramedics to find out how they help patients to improve their health. We will invite some of these staff to take part in one-to-one interviews to explore their answers in more detail. Additionally, we will invite patients who have been treated in an emergency department or by a paramedic at home to a one- to-one interview to discuss their views on emergency nurses and paramedics delivering health promotion activities.

We will continue to work with a diverse and dedicated PPI group with recent experience of attending the emergency department and accessing the ambulance service.

The findings are expected to provide an understanding of the barriers to health promotion activities undertaken by emergency department nurses and paramedics. Descriptive analysis of the survey data and generated themes from the interview data will be used to improve the understanding of emergency department nurses and paramedics' experiences of health promotion in these settings.

The results of this study will help to inform future research, that will focus on interventions to support and encourage nurses and paramedics to deliver health promotion activities in a way that works for both patients and staff. 


This project was funded by the Research for Patient Benefit fund of the National Institute for Health and Care Research.

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