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Keywords:

  • vulnerability;
  • health;
  • stress;
  • environment

The concept of vulnerability is an important one for nurses because of its implications for health. The experience of vulnerability creates stress and anxiety which affects physiological, psychological and social functioning. Although everyone is vulnerable at different times in his or her life, some individuals are more likely to develop health problems than others. Vulnerability is affected by personal factors as well as factors within the environment. Trends in society indicate that increasing numbers of vulnerable people will create additional demands on an already over-burdened health care system. Vulnerability is an area that requires much further research and application.