Mrs Gunilla Haydon

Mrs Gunilla Haydon

Lecturer

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Giving patients a voice

Gunilla Haydon is researching patients’ personal stories to help individualise hospital care and improve long-term quality of life.

Gunilla is a skilled communicator, an imperative trait in her career as a registered nurse and educator. As a researcher, this talent also provides her with a unique opportunity: to use qualitative methodologies and narrative inquiry—inviting patients to share their stories—as a way of garnering new research insights, humanising patient care in hospital and, ultimately, improving people’s quality of life.

“It’s easy for a patient to lose their individuality when they enter the healthcare system, and simply become part of the institution. To provide more personalised care, we need to understand patients’ experiences—from their point of view.

“Qualitative research seeks to understand how we, as individuals, react and interact with each other.”

Asking the right questions

Gunilla is currently leading the country’s first qualitative study into the experiences of cardiac arrest survivors. Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death worldwide, and survival rates remain low. Despite extensive knowledge and research into cardiac health, there is limited information about how cardiac arrests influence survivors’ lives long term.

“Surviving cardiac arrest is a major event as there are no predictable outcomes for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Often survivors’ physical and psychological abilities change and adaptation to the new reality is challenging.”

The project uses narrative inquiry to investigate how long-term survivors of cardiac arrest readjust to normal life after being discharged from hospital. So far, her research reveals that survivors often feel abandoned by the healthcare team immediately after discharge, before they start receiving support from their rehabilitation team. This gap between discharge and rehabilitation care can often be many months long.

“Many survivors experience anxiety and depression when they return to their altered reality, which may be as limiting as any physical ailments. There needs to be a multidisciplinary approach to the transition between hospital wards and home to improve survivor outcomes.”

Gunilla stressed that deeper consideration of the patient experience could help healthcare professionals deliver more patient-centred, individualised care that give people a better quality of life long term.

Gunilla is also undertaking her PhD in this area. Her findings to date are published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing and the Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences.

The benefits of humour

In her pursuit of better patient-centred care, Gunilla’s upcoming research will explore how humour can help build more therapeutic relationships between a patient and their nurse. Specifically, how can we use humour to improve care and communication?

“My Honours research project was about humour in nursing, and my upcoming work will explore the topic further. I think humour can have a positive influence for all involved and could be better utilised in many situations.”

Gunilla was recently selected to participate in the ThinkWell Early and Mid-Career Women’s Development Program, facilitated through the Faculty of Health and Medicine's Gender Equity Committee. The program provides coaching and support to help researchers progress in their careers. For Gunilla, this includes developing both the research and teaching aspects of her work.

In 2018, Gunilla received the prestigious Australian College of Educators teaching award. As supervisor and lecturer, Gunilla relishes the opportunity to encourage nursing students and promote the use of evidence-based practice and research.

“Teaching is a very rewarding part of my academic role. I enjoy seeing the students grow and become ready for employment. To have some of them returning to be part of research at the University of Newcastle is a bonus.”

Giving patients a voice

Gunilla Haydon is researching patients’ personal stories to help individualise hospital care and improve long-term quality of life.

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Career Summary

Biography

Giving patients a voice

Gunilla Haydon is researching patients’ personal stories to help individualise hospital care and improve long-term quality of life.

Gunilla is a skilled communicator, an imperative trait in her career as a registered nurse and educator. As a researcher, this talent also provides her with a unique opportunity: to use qualitative methodologies and narrative inquiry—inviting patients to share their stories—as a way of garnering new research insights, humanising patient care in hospital and, ultimately, improving people’s quality of life.

“It’s easy for a patient to lose their individuality when they enter the healthcare system, and simply become part of the institution. To provide more personalised care, we need to understand patients’ experiences—from their point of view.

“Qualitative research seeks to understand how we, as individuals, react and interact with each other.”

Asking the right questions

Gunilla is currently leading the country’s first qualitative study into the experiences of cardiac arrest survivors. Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death worldwide, and survival rates remain low. Despite extensive knowledge and research into cardiac health, there is limited information about how cardiac arrests influence survivors’ lives long term.

“Surviving cardiac arrest is a major event as there are no predictable outcomes for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Often survivors’ physical and psychological abilities change and adaptation to the new reality is challenging.”

The project uses narrative inquiry to investigate how long-term survivors of cardiac arrest readjust to normal life after being discharged from hospital. So far, her research reveals that survivors often feel abandoned by the healthcare team immediately after discharge, before they start receiving support from their rehabilitation team. This gap between discharge and rehabilitation care can often be many months long.

“Many survivors experience anxiety and depression when they return to their altered reality, which may be as limiting as any physical ailments. There needs to be a multidisciplinary approach to the transition between hospital wards and home to improve survivor outcomes.”

Gunilla stressed that deeper consideration of the patient experience could help healthcare professionals deliver more patient-centred, individualised care that give people a better quality of life long term.

Gunilla is also undertaking her PhD in this area. Her findings to date are published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing and the Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences.

The benefits of humour

In her pursuit of better patient-centred care, Gunilla’s upcoming research will explore how humour can help build more therapeutic relationships between a patient and their nurse. Specifically, how can we use humour to improve care and communication?

“My Honours research project was about humour in nursing, and my upcoming work will explore the topic further. I think humour can have a positive influence for all involved and could be better utilised in many situations.”

Gunilla was recently selected to participate in the ThinkWell Early and Mid-Career Women’s Development Program, facilitated through the Faculty of Health and Medicine's Gender Equity Committee. The program provides coaching and support to help researchers progress in their careers. For Gunilla, this includes developing both the research and teaching aspects of her work.

In 2018, Gunilla received the prestigious Australian College of Educators teaching award. As supervisor and lecturer, Gunilla relishes the opportunity to encourage nursing students and promote the use of evidence-based practice and research.

“Teaching is a very rewarding part of my academic role. I enjoy seeing the students grow and become ready for employment. To have some of them returning to be part of research at the University of Newcastle is a bonus.”

Biography

Gunilla Haydon is a lecturer in nursing at the University of Newcastle’s Port Macquarie campus. Her research is driven by a desire to better acknowledge and understand patient experiences, an undertaking that could significantly improve their care and quality of life. Currently, Gunilla is researching patients’ experiences of surviving cardiac arrest and subsequent cardiopulmonary resuscitation using qualitative methodologies, including narrative inquiry.

Gunilla’s interest in education and research was first sparked at an international nursing and education conference in 2010. Studying a Bachelor of Nursing at the time, Gunilla delivered a conference presentation on how a cultural excursion to Thailand influenced students’ perceptions of international nursing.

With her bachelor’s degree in hand, Gunilla commenced an Honours program while gaining practical clinical experience at Port Macquarie Base Hospital, where she would become a highly respected nurse specialising in cardiac, inpatient medical and surgical nursing. Gunilla’s Honours research project explored how humour could influence the patient-nurse therapeutic relationship. Using narrative inquiry, a relatively new methodology at the time, her work led to two well-received publications and multiple conference presentations. 

Having lived in Australia and Sweden, and with previous business experience, Gunilla has a wealth of experience to offer students at the University of Newcastle. She currently works as a supervisor and thrives in the tutorial room, where she can interact with students and promote evidence-based practice and research. Gunilla is committed to empowering future nurses as leaders in the advancement of preventative community health services.


Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Nursing, University of Newcastle

Keywords

  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Cardiac illness
  • Humour
  • Narrative Inquiry
  • Nursing,
  • Patient experience

Languages

  • Swedish (Mother)
  • English (Fluent)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
111002 Clinical Nursing: Primary (Preventative) 30
111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified 40
111003 Clinical Nursing: Secondary (Acute Care) 30
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Journal article (10 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2018 Haydon G, Browne G, van der Riet P, 'Narrative inquiry as a research methodology exploring person centred care in nursing', Collegian, 25 125-129 (2018) [C1]

© 2017 Australian College of Nursing Ltd Background: Although, person centred care has for a long time been an important approach to nursing care, it is often not a reality in the... [more]

© 2017 Australian College of Nursing Ltd Background: Although, person centred care has for a long time been an important approach to nursing care, it is often not a reality in the clinical environment. The focus of health research has, until recently, been on the physical aspects of a persons¿ illness and this has influenced how care is delivered. There is a need to broaden the focus from the illness to the person who is ill. A holistic approach to the persons¿ social and cultural experience of their illness will aid health care professions to provide person centred care. This paper will make the argument that narrative inquiry is a well suited to health care research in general and nursing research in particular as it focuses its inquiry on the individual person's experience of their illness ¿ ¿what matters¿ from the person's point of view. Narrative inquiry explores the narrative from a temporal, social and spatial view. Conclusions: There is a need to find what is important from the patients¿ ¿point of view¿ to optimise care. Narrative Inquiry is a methodology often used in education and sociology. It is a gentle relational methodology that has the capability to uncover what is important to the person in their situation. The research findings are presented narratively, that is, informally and engagingly for the consumer of the research.

DOI 10.1016/j.colegn.2017.03.001
Co-authors Pamela Vanderriet, Graeme Browne
2018 Day J, Thorington Taylor AC, Hunter S, Summons P, van der Riet P, Harris M, et al., 'Experiences of older people following the introduction of consumer-directed care to home care packages: A qualitative descriptive study', Australasian Journal on Ageing, 37 275-282 (2018) [C1]

© 2018 AJA Inc. Objective: To explore the experiences of older people receiving home care package (HCP) support following the introduction of consumer-directed care (CDC) by the A... [more]

© 2018 AJA Inc. Objective: To explore the experiences of older people receiving home care package (HCP) support following the introduction of consumer-directed care (CDC) by the Australian government on 1 July 2015. Methods: Thirty-one older people with existing HCP support from two service providers in regional New South Wales, Australia, participated in a face-to-face interview and/or a qualitative survey. Results: Analysis revealed the theme of Choices: Preferences, constraints, balancing and choosing. Participants described choosing to live at home with HCP support; however, they were constrained by poor communication and information about service changes and options, personal budgets and access to future care. HCP services remained largely unchanged during transition to CDC. Conclusion: Many aspects of the initial implementation of CDC were challenging for older people. Clear, relevant and timely communication and information about CDC and its consequences for consumers appear to be needed to enhance CDC.

DOI 10.1111/ajag.12553
Co-authors Pamela Vanderriet, Jenny Day, Ann Taylor, Meaghan Katrak, Sarah Jeong, Sharyn Hunter, Margaret Harris, Peter Summons, Isabel Higgins
2017 Haydon G, van der Riet P, 'Narrative inquiry: A relational research methodology suitable to explore narratives of health and illness', Nordic Journal of Nursing Research, 37 85-89 (2017) [C1]
DOI 10.1177/2057158516675217
Co-authors Pamela Vanderriet
2017 Haydon G, van der Riet P, Maguire J, 'Survivors' quality of life after cardiopulmonary resuscitation: an integrative review of the literature', Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 31 6-26 (2017) [C1]

© 2016 Nordic College of Caring Science Background: The incidence of cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation continues to increase worldwide largely due to greater awaren... [more]

© 2016 Nordic College of Caring Science Background: The incidence of cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation continues to increase worldwide largely due to greater awareness of the symptoms of cardiac events and increased attention to cardiopulmonary resuscitation training in the community. Globally, predicted survival rates after cardiopulmonary resuscitation have remained at 10% for decades and although patient outcome remains unpredictable, there is a positive trend in life expectancy. For a resuscitation attempt to be classed as successful, not only survival but also quality of life has to be evaluated. Aim: The aim of this review was to examine literature that explores the quality of life (QOL) for survivors' after CPR and the influence cognitive impairment, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has had on their QOL. Review methods: This review follows Whittemore and Knafl's framework for an integrative literature review. Electronic databases EBSCO, Ovid, PubMed and EMBASE were searched. After application of the inclusion and exclusion criteria, thirty-six papers published from January 2000 to June 2015 were included in this review. Results: These papers represent a broad spectrum of research evaluating quality of life for survivors of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The heterogeneous research methods and vast number of different research tools make it challenging to compare the findings. The majority of papers concluded that quality of life for survivors of cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation was generally acceptable. However, studies also described survivors' experience of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and cognitive dysfunction. Conclusion: A majority of papers reported an acceptable quality of life if the patient survived to hospital discharge. The heterogeneity in quantitative papers was noticeable and indicates a marked variance in patient outcomes. This review highlights the absence of specialized tools used to investigate survivors' experience of the event. Further exploration of the impact cardiopulmonary resuscitation has on the individual may improve ongoing rehabilitation and quality of life levels for survivors.

DOI 10.1111/scs.12323
Citations Scopus - 7Web of Science - 4
Co-authors Pamela Vanderriet
2017 Haydon G, Van Der Riet P, Inder K, 'A systematic review and meta-synthesis of the qualitative literature exploring the experiences and quality of life of survivors of a cardiac arrest', European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 16 475-483 (2017) [C1]

© European Society of Cardiology. Background: Survival following cardiac arrest and subsequent cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is increasing worldwide, mainly due to greater a... [more]

© European Society of Cardiology. Background: Survival following cardiac arrest and subsequent cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is increasing worldwide, mainly due to greater awareness of the symptoms of cardiac events and an increased attention to CPR training. Although patient outcomes remain unpredictable and quantitative studies suggest that the overall quality of life (QOL) is acceptable, it is valuable to synthesise qualitative studies exploring these phenomena in depth, providing a deeper knowledge of survivors' experiences and QOL. Aims: To critically appraise and synthesise the qualitative literature on survivors' experiences of a cardiac arrest and CPR with the aim of identifying common themes that can inform clinical pathways and thereby improve survivor outcomes and QOL. Methods: A systematic review and meta-synthesis of the qualitative literature, using Thomas and Harden's framework, and confined to peer-reviewed papers published from 2000 to 2015, which were identified through database searches of EBSCO, OVID and ProQuest. Results: The search produced 204 papers, and of these, seven relevant papers were identified for review. Data extraction included setting, participants, research design, data collection, analysis and themes. Five qualitative themes were identified and were the subject of this meta-synthesis: multitude of contrasting feelings; disruption in the continuum of time; new reality and psychological challenges; changed body with new limitations; and confrontation with death. Conclusion: This review provides insights into the experiences of survivors' QOL after CPR. Increased knowledge can improve person-centred care in the immediate and forthcoming care after the event, both in terms of planning for discharge and in the future care of people who survive a cardiac arrest.

DOI 10.1177/1474515117705486
Citations Scopus - 4Web of Science - 3
Co-authors Kerry Inder, Pamela Vanderriet
2017 Day J, Taylor ACT, Summons P, Van Der Riet P, Hunter S, Maguire J, et al., 'Home care packages: Insights into the experiences of older people leading up to the introduction of consumer directed care in Australia', Australian Journal of Primary Health, 23 162-169 (2017) [C1]

© 2017 La Trobe University. This paper reports phase one, conducted from March to June 2015, of a two-phase, qualitative descriptive study designed to explore the perceptions and ... [more]

© 2017 La Trobe University. This paper reports phase one, conducted from March to June 2015, of a two-phase, qualitative descriptive study designed to explore the perceptions and experiences of older people before and after the introduction of consumer directed care (CDC) to home care packages (HCP) in Australia. Eligible consumers with a local HCP provider were mailed information about the study. Data collection occurred before the introduction of CDC and included face-To-face, in-depth interviews, summaries of interviews, field notes and reflective journaling. Semi-structured questions and 'emotional touchpoints' relating to home care were used to guide the interview conversation. Line-by-line data analysis, where significant statements were highlighted and clustered to reveal emergent themes, was used. Five older people, aged 81 to 91 years, participated in the study. The four emergent themes were: seeking quality and reciprocity in carer relationships; patchworking services; the waiting game; and technology with utility. Continuity of carers was central to the development of a trusting relationship and perceptions of care quality among older consumers. Care coordinators and workers should play a key role in ensuring older people receive timely information about CDC and their rights and responsibilities. Participants' use of contemporary technologies suggests opportunities to improve engagement of HCP clients in CDC.

DOI 10.1071/PY16022
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 2
Co-authors Margaret Harris, Sharyn Hunter, Sarah Jeong, Isabel Higgins, Jenny Day, Pamela Vanderriet, Ann Taylor, Peter Summons
2016 Day J, Taylor ACT, Summons P, Van Der Riet P, Hunter S, Maguire J, et al., 'Home care packages: insights into the experiences of older people leading up to the introduction of consumer directed care in Australia.', Aust J Prim Health, (2016)
DOI 10.1071/PY16022
Co-authors Jenny Day, Sharyn Hunter, Peter Summons, Ann Taylor, Sarah Jeong
2015 Haydon G, van der Riet P, Browne G, 'A narrative inquiry: Humour and gender differences in the therapeutic relationship between nurses and their patients', Contemporary Nurse, 50 214-226 (2015) [C1]
DOI 10.1080/10376178.2015.1021436
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Graeme Browne, Pamela Vanderriet
2014 Haydon G, van der Riet P, 'A narrative inquiry: How do nurses respond to patients' use of humour?', CONTEMPORARY NURSE, 46 197-205 (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.5172/conu.2014.46.2.197
Citations Scopus - 4Web of Science - 3
Co-authors Pamela Vanderriet
2013 Haydon G, van der Riet P, 'A Narrative Inquiry: How do nurses respond to patients' use of humour?', Contemp Nurse, (2013)
DOI 10.5172/conu.2013.3875
Co-authors Pamela Vanderriet
Show 7 more journal articles

Conference (6 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2018 Haydon G, van der Riet P, Inder K, 'Narrative Inquiry in Nursing Research: Tensions, Bumps, and the Research Puzzle', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF QUALITATIVE METHODS (2018)
Co-authors Kerry Inder, Pamela Vanderriet
2016 Day JL, Hunter S, Taylor A, Summons P, van der riet, Jeong, et al., 'Early insights into older consumer experiences with consumer directed care', Early insights into older consumer experiences with consumer directed care, Canberra (2016)
Co-authors Sharyn Hunter, Ann Taylor, Jenny Day, Isabel Higgins, Pamela Vanderriet, Margaret Harris, Sarah Jeong, Peter Summons
2015 Haydon GC, Van der Riet P, Maguire J, 'The suitability for narrative inquiry in health research', Melbourne (2015) [E3]
Co-authors Pamela Vanderriet
2015 Haydon GC, Van der Riet P, Maguire J, 'Qualitative and quantitative research in quality of life after surviving a cardiac arrest', Melbourne (2015) [E3]
Co-authors Pamela Vanderriet
2012 Haydon GC, Van Der Riet PJ, 'Humour in nursing', 2nd Australian Capital Region Nursing & Midwifery Research Conference. Conference Proceedings, Canberra, ACT (2012) [E3]
Co-authors Pamela Vanderriet
2010 Haydon GC, 'Student nurses gain an insight to research and global nursing', 3rd International Nurse Education Conference. Poster Programme, Sydney (2010) [E3]
Show 3 more conferences
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 1
Total funding $10,298

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20151 grants / $10,298

Development of a strategic plan to enhance students' experience of clinical placement at Port Macquarie Base Hospital$10,298

Funding body: Hunter and Coast Interdisciplinary Clinical Training Network

Funding body Hunter and Coast Interdisciplinary Clinical Training Network
Project Team

Lynette Bowen, Pamela Van der Riet, Gunilla Haydon

Scheme H&C ICTN Research & Quality Improvement Small Grants
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
GNo
Type Of Funding Other Public Sector - Commonwealth
Category 2OPC
UON N
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News

Heart-felt research improving outcomes for cardiac arrest survivors

May 30, 2017

Research from the University of Newcastle is drawing on the personal stories of cardiac arrest survivors to improve their quality of life.

Mrs Gunilla Haydon

Position

Lecturer
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Faculty of Health and Medicine

Contact Details

Email gunilla.haydon@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 65816357
Fax (02) 65839801
Links Twitter
Research and Innovation Cluster
Research and Innovation Cluster

Office

Room Enter Building code/room eg DG22
Location Port Macquarie
Cnr Oxley Highway and Widderson Street
Port Macquarie, NSW 2444
Australia
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