Hospital da Luz Nursing Director receives PhD from the Portuguese Catholic University

On 28 November, Maria José Costa Dias, nursing director at the Hospital da Luz, received her doctorate in nursing at the Portuguese Catholic University (UCP), earning unanimous approval with a mark of 19 points (summa cum laude).

Her thesis was on hospital falls and was based on the fact that such falls are the most commonly reported incident and are an important indicator for patient safety in nursing care.

Her final dissertation in the UCP Nursing PhD course was entitled 'Hospital Falls: Risk Factors' and sought to assess the scope and impact of adult falls, identify the risk factors behind hospital falls in acute care and develop a predictive model for the occurrence of such falls. Data obtained at the Hospital da Luz were used in her work. 

Of note was the main conclusion which pointed to the need to carry out a comprehensive assessment of patients aged 65 or older. This assessment includes an evaluation of the risk of fall and the state of depression and acute confusion, as these are factors which enable falls to be predicted and thus avoided. It is on such factors that nurses should base their assessments and prescribe actions so as to help prevent falls and associated complications.

José Tolentino de Mendonça, university professor and Vice-Chancellor of UCP presided over the jury which also included Maria Gorete Mendonça dos Reis, coordinating teacher at the St. João de Deus School of Nursing at the University of Évora; Alexandre Castro Caldas, full professor at the Institute of Health Sciences at the Portuguese Catholic University; Margarida Maria da Silva Vieira, associate professor at the Institute of Health Sciences at the Portuguese Catholic University, Luís Octávio de Sá, associate professor at the Institute of Health Sciences at the Portuguese Catholic University; Alzira Teresa Vieira dos Santos, coordinating professor at the Nursing School of Porto and Maria dos Anjos Coelho Dixe, coordinating professor at the School of Health Sciences at the Leiria Polytechnic. After she had presented her work, the discussion was led by Maria Gorete Mendonça dos Reis and Maria dos Anjos Coelho Dixe.