An analysis of altruism: a concept of caring


  • Ann Smith MSN RNCS

    Corresponding author
    1. Assistant Professor, Medical College of Ohio, School of Nursing, Toledo, Ohio, Doctoral Student, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, and Family Counselor, Firelands Community Hospital, Chronic Pain Relief Clinic, Sandusky, Ohio, USA
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Ann Smith, 813 Seneca Drive Huron Ohio 44839, USA


In clinical settings, nurses have observed a conflict within women who are expected to focus on caring for themselves, while their value lies in attending to the needs of others at the sacrifice of self In this concept analysis of altruism, the term is defined and the critical attributes are identified Model, borderline, related and contrary cases illustrate what the concept is and what it is not The meaning of altruism is compared to self-neglect and co-dependence, which are two similar concepts The antecedents and consequences of altruism are identified to further refine the critical attributes Implications for research are discussed This is a first step towards developing nursing theory that will give direction for providing more effective care to women within their value system