Perioperative temperature monitoring practices in Australia: A multidisciplinary cross-sectional survey

  • Judy Munday
    Corresponding author at: Level 5, N Block, School of Nursing and Centre for Healthcare Transformation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, QLD 4059, Australia.
    School of Nursing and Centre for Health Care Transformation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, QLD, Australia

    Faculty of Health and Sports Sciences, University of Agder, Grimstad, Norway

    Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Herston, QLD, Australia

    MRI-UQ, Mater Health, South Brisbane, QLD, Australia
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  • Simon Maffey
    Mater Health, South Brisbane, QLD, Australia
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  • Alana Delaforce
    School of Nursing and Centre for Health Care Transformation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, QLD, Australia

    Mater Health, South Brisbane, QLD, Australia
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  • Samantha Keogh
    School of Nursing and Centre for Health Care Transformation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, QLD, Australia

    Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Herston, QLD, Australia
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      Patients undergoing surgery require accurate and consistent temperature monitoring to enable identification of thermal disturbances. Internationally, evidence indicates low rates of monitoring, but knowledge of Australian practices reported by the multidisciplinary team is lacking.


      To investigate temperature monitoring practices as reported by multidisciplinary health care workers caring for patients receiving perioperative care.


      A cross-sectional survey was distributed online via nursing, anaesthetic, and anaesthetic allied health practitioner professional colleges. Following low-risk ethical approval, data were collected via REDCap using a pre-piloted tool (November to December 2019). Data were analysed using IBM SPSS Statistics (Version 26). Binomial logistic regression assessed relationships between private or public facilities, location, profession, and factors influencing temperature monitoring practices.


      Responses were received from 545 participants: registered or enrolled nurses comprised the largest proportion (n = 281/545, 52%) followed by anaesthetists (n = 219/545, 40%). Over half were unsure whether national guidelines for perioperative temperature monitoring existed (n = 273/500, 55%), 19% (n = 106/545) stated that decision-making was influenced by guidelines, and 24% (n = 129/545) were influenced by departmental policy. The odds of influence by national guidelines in decision-making among nurses was twice than for anaesthetists (OR 2.09, 95% CI 1.26, 3.46, p <0.01).


      Findings revealed a lack of awareness of perioperative temperature monitoring guidelines among all professions, but adequate availability of devices was reported. Disparities exist between reported uptake of monitoring, and existing observational evidence.


      Low uptake of optimal perioperative temperature monitoring practices may be influenced by lack of awareness of guidelines and availability of accurate devices.


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