The consultative process used in outreach : a narrative account

Christensen, Martin (2009) The consultative process used in outreach : a narrative account. Nursing in Critical Care, 14(1), pp. 17-25.

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The aim of this paper was to provide a narrative account of the communication skills used in an effective outreach consultation utilizing Neighbour’s consultative model. Other consultation models were considered; however, because of their overly comprehensive approach or emphasis on behaviour modification, these were deemed inappropriate.


The nursing profession has endured significant changes of late and as a result is developing more autonomous roles in both the community and the acute health care settings. In the past, the term consultancy was used within the medical context; nowadays, there are advance nurse practitioners for whom consultancy is an integral part of their role. Although every nursing interaction is in essence a consultation, the fact that nurses are taking up on new advanced roles highlights the necessity for nurses to develop their consultation skills even further. Therefore, it makes sense to explore what aspects of that consultancy role needs special consideration in order to ensure that positive outcomes are achieved.


This paper has used a narrative account to uncover those salient skills needed to enhance the therapeutic relationship with a patient requiring the services of outreach. Furthermore, the application of a recognized consultation model was used to elucidate the underpinning knowledge of systematic history taking and assessment as well as demonstrating the communication skills and strategies needed to increase the patient’s participation and empowerment throughout the consultation.

Relevance to clinical practice

Effective communication skills encompassed in a consultative model are integral to the success in safeguarding the well-being of patients requiring advanced levels of care. Prejudging or pre-empting information being conveyed can be detrimental to patient safety and may prolong or complicate treatment plans.

Impact and interest:

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1 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 68978
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Consultation, Communication skills, Outreach
DOI: 10.1111/j.1478-5153.2008.00310.x
ISSN: 1478-5153
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Nursing not elsewhere classified (111099)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 The Author. Journal Compilation © 2009 British Association of Critical Care Nurses
Deposited On: 21 Mar 2014 00:55
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2014 00:55

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