Perceptions of Autonomy in the Care of Elderly People in Five European Countries

Nursing Ethics 10 (1):28-38 (2003)
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Abstract

The focus of this article is perceptions of elderly patients and nurses regarding patients’ autonomy in nursing practice. Autonomy is empirically defined as having two components: information received/given as a prerequisite and decision making as the action. The results indicated differences between staff and patient perceptions of patient autonomy for both components in all five countries in which this survey was conducted. There were also differences between countries in the perceptions of patients and nurses regarding the frequency with which patients received information from nursing staff or were offered opportunities to make decisions.This is the second of a set of five articles published together in this issue of Nursing Ethics in which the results of this comparative research project are presented.

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