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Individuality in older people’s care – challenges for the development of nursing and nursing management

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suhonen r., stolt m., puro m. &leino‐kilpi h. (2011) Journal of Nursing Management 19, 883–896

Individuality in older people’s care – challenges for the development of nursing and nursing management

Aim  To explore nurses’ perceptions about individuality in older people’s care.

Background  Individualized care is enshrined in health‐care policies and ethical and quality guidelines concerning older peoples’ care but assessments of individualized care delivery are limited.

Methods  Using a descriptive survey design, Individualized Care Scale questionnaires (n = 147) were used to collect data from 96 registered or licensed practical nurses (response 65%) working in the inpatient wards of four randomly selected long‐term care hospitals in 2008. The questionnaires were analysed statistically.

Results  Nurses perceived that they supported older patients’ individuality well in the clinical situation and maintained patients’ decisional control over their care. Nurses also perceived that although they moderately supported their patients’ personal life situation they did not actively encourage patients’ families to take part in care.

Conclusions  This study revealed some shortcomings in the maintenance of individuality in older peoples’ care and the need to change the focus of care from reactive management to a proactive prevention orientation to improve the well‐being of older people.

Implications for nursing management  There is a need to examine the care structures and processes and the role of nurse professionals in older peoples’ care under the guidance of nurse leaders and managers.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Professor (acting), Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku, Turku 2: Podiatrist, Department of Nursing Science/Finnish Post-Graduate School in Nursing Science, University of Turku, Turku 3: Director of Health Care District, Health Care District of Forssa, Forssa 4: Professor and Chair/Nurse Manager, Department of Nursing Science/Hospital District of Southwest Finland, University of Turku, Turku, Finland

Publication date: October 1, 2011

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