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concept analysis, healthcare, interruption, nursing



  1. Brixey, Juliana J. MSN, PhD, MPH, RN
  2. Robinson, David J. MD, MS
  3. Johnson, Craig W. PhD
  4. Johnson, Todd R. PhD
  5. Turley, James P. PhD, RN
  6. Zhang, Jiajie PhD


An interruption was found to have no consistent definition in either healthcare or nonhealthcare literature. Walker and Avant's 8-step method of concept analysis was used to clarify, define, and develop a conceptual model of interruption. The analysis led to the identification of 5 defining attributes that include (1) a human experience; (2) an intrusion of a secondary, unplanned, and unexpected task; (3) discontinuity; (4) externally or internally initiated; and (5) situated within a context. Use of the defining attributes will be extended to form a category of interruption within a taxonomy of activity.