Public Defence: Elizabeth Reine

MNSc Elizabeth Reine at Institute of Health and Society will be defending the thesis “Quality in postoperative patient handover - A mixed methods study” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: Ine Eriksen, UIO. 


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An electronic copy of the thesis may be ordered from the faculty up to 2 days prior to the public defence. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

Trial Lecture – time and place

See Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Ulrica Nilsson, Karolinska Institutet
  • Second opponent: Senior Researcher Conrad Arnfinn Bjørshol, Stavanger Universitetssykehus
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Tor Inge Tønnessen, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor II Torsten Eken, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Professor II Tone Rustøen, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo


Patient handovers in health care represent vulnerability and risk of patient harm. This is due to challenges with information transfer and continuity of care when patients are transferred between different health care providers. Handovers taking place in postoperative settings are especially vulnerable as they involve patients in need of close monitoring and care.

The aim of the study was to increase our knowledge of postoperative patient handover and the factors affecting quality.  The present thesis consists of three papers that have used different methodological designs.

In the first paper a cross sectional design was applied to assess how nurses evaluated the quality of postoperative handovers they had participated in. The study found that transferring and receiving nurses had different evaluations of handover quality, circumstances and condition of the patient handed over.

In the second paper a qualitative design was used to explore factors affecting quality in postoperative patient handovers. The participants in the study described postoperative handovers to be affected by timing, handover structure, patient condition, individual characteristics and team composition.

In the third paper postoperative patient handovers were observed in clinical practice using a mixed methods convergent design.  The study found that information transfer during handover was variable and depended on the patient’s condition, team composition, preparation and workload in the postoperative unit. Compliance with the departments checklist for verbal handover reporting was low. Factors contributing to quality were related to adaptation of reporting and tasks performed to patient needs and handover circumstances, structured verbal reporting and dialogue within the team.

In conclusion, the thesis has presented new perspectives on postoperative patient handover that need to be considered when interventions to improve handover quality are designed and implemented.

Additional information

Contact the research support staff.



Published Jan. 6, 2022 1:21 PM - Last modified Jan. 19, 2022 10:48 AM