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The purpose of this paper is to present an in-depth analysis of the concept of patient participation The analysis was undertaken using the method described by Walker and Avant Patient participation is defined and the critical attributes are identified Model, borderline and contrary cases illustrate what the concept is and is not The meaning of patient participation is compared with patient partnership, patient collaboration and patient involvement, three related cases The antecedents and consequences of patient participation are investigated to further refine the critical attributes Empirical referents are illuminated The value of concept analysis in relation to precise communication, critical thinking and the advancement of the knowledge base of nursing is discussed.