Moving and handling care of bariatric patients: a survey of clinical nurse managers

Type Article

Journal Article


S. Dockrell; G. Hurley

Year of publication



J Res Nurs








BACKGROUND: The prevalence of obesity is rising, and obese persons are more likely to use healthcare services and require moving and handling care. AIMS: This study explored the frequency, logistics and barriers to the provision of bariatric patient-handling care including equipment availability in acute hospitals. METHODS: A cross-sectional study design using an anonymous 24-item questionnaire was used to survey 322 clinical nurse managers. Completed hard-copy questionnaires (n = 132) were returned by post. RESULTS: Most clinical nurse managers (93.1%) provided care for bariatric patients and 85.6% reported barriers to the provision of bariatric care within their clinical area. The principal barriers were lack of equipment (75%), staff (65.2%) and training (57.6%). Only 11.4% owned all the required equipment. Owning equipment provided significantly greater access to a hoist (P = 0.001) and chair (P = 0.032) than renting. Only 9.5% reported that rented equipment always arrives on time. The majority (74.4%) did not have guidelines for caring for bariatric patients, and 46.2% considered this to be a barrier. CONCLUSIONS: Barriers to caring for bariatric patients were identified. Most of the equipment was rented, and significant delays in its delivery were reported. The need for education and training and the dissemination of policies and guidelines were identified.