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Nurses' and patients' perceptions of dignity


Walsh, K and Kowanko, I, Nurses' and patients' perceptions of dignity, International Journal of Nursing Practice, 8, (3) pp. 143-151. ISSN 1322-7114 (2002) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1046/j.1440-172X.2002.00355.x


It is generally agreed in the nursing literature that the maintenance of patient dignity is an important element of nursing care that is highly valued by patients. Despite this, dignity is seldom defined and there are few guidelines that nurses may use in their practice to safeguard individual patients' dignity. This phenomenological study aimed to uncover patients' and nurses' perceptions of dignity, formulate a definition of dignity based on the experience of patients and nurses, and identify nursing practices that maintain or compromise patient dignity. The study found that the characteristics nurses associated with dignity were many and varied. Important elements in the meaning the nurses ascribed to the notion of patient dignity were the elements of respect, privacy, control, advocacy and time. The themes which emerged from the patient interviews were similar to those which emerged from the interviews with nurses. The characteristics that patients attributed to dignity and its maintenance included respect, privacy, control, choice, humour and matter-of-factness. © Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Dignity; Phenomenology; Privacy; Respect; article; concept formation; control; decision making; health personnel attitude; human; humor; nurse; nurse patient relationship; patient; privacy; psychological aspect; self concept; Choice Behavior; Humans
Research Division:Medical and Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Nursing not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Health and Support Services
Objective Field:Nursing
Author:Walsh, K (Professor Kenneth Walsh)
ID Code:92315
Year Published:2002
Deposited By:Health Sciences B
Deposited On:2014-06-13
Last Modified:2014-06-13

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