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Keywords:

  • quality of nursing care;
  • concept development;
  • advanced illness;
  • vulnerability

Abstract

The quality of nursing care as perceived by hospitalized patients with advanced illness has not been examined. A concept of quality nursing care for this population was developed by integrating the literature on constructs defining quality nursing care with empirical findings from interviews of 16 patients with advanced illness. Quality nursing care was characterized as competence and personal caring supported by professionalism and delivered with an appropriate demeanor. Although the attributes of competence, caring, professionalism, and demeanor were identified as common components of quality care across various patient populations, the caring domain increased in importance when patients with advanced illness perceived themselves as vulnerable. Assessment of quality nursing care for patients with advanced illness needs to include measures of patient perceptions of vulnerability. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 33:299–315, 2010