Date of this Version


Document Type




To describe patient problems and APN interventions in each of five clinical trials and to establish links among patient problems, APN interventions, APN time and number of contacts, patient outcomes, and health care costs.


Analysis of 333 interaction logs created by APNs during five randomized controlled trials: (a) very low birthweight infants (n = 39); (b) women with unplanned cesarean birth (n = 61), (c) high-risk pregnancy (n = 44), and (d) hysterectomy (n = 53); and (e) elders with cardiac medical and surgical diagnoses (n = 139). Logs containing recordings of all APN interactions with participants, APN time and type of patient contact were content analyzed with the smallest phrase or sentence representing a "unit." These units were then classified using the Omaha Classification System to determine patient problems and APN interventions. Groups were compared concerning total amount of APN time, number of contacts per patient, and mean length of time per APN contact. All studies were conducted in the United States.


Groups with greater mean APN time and contacts per patient had greater improvements in patients' outcomes and greater health care cost savings. Of the 150,131 APN interventions, surveillance was the predominant APN function in all five patient groups. Health teaching, guidance, and counseling was the second most frequent category of APN intervention in four of the five groups. In all five groups, treatments and procedures accounted for < 1% of total APN interventions. Distribution of patient problems (N = 150,131) differed across groups reflecting the health care problems common to the group.


Dose of APN time and contacts makes a difference in improving patient outcomes and reducing health care costs. Skills needed by APNs in providing transitional care include well-developed skills in assessing, teaching, counseling, communicating, collaborating, knowing health behaviors, negotiating systems, and having condition-specific knowledge about different patient problems.


Accepted Author Manuscript.

The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at J Nurs Scholarsh



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).