Get access

Factors related to nurse communication with elderly people

Authors

  • Wilma M.C.M. Caris-Verhallen MSc RN,

    1. Research Fellow, Department of Nursing and Caring Research, Netherlands Institute of Primary Health Care, Utrecht, The Netherlands,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Ingrid M. De Gruijter MA,

    1. Research Assistant, Department of Nursing and Caring Research, Netherlands Institute of Primary Health Care, Utrecht, The Netherlands,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Ada Kerkstra PhD,

    1. Co-ordinator, Department of Nursing and Caring Research, Netherlands Institute of Primary Health Care, Utrecht, The Netherlands,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jozien M. Bensing PhD

    1. Director, Netherlands Institute of Primary Health Care, Utrecht, and Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author

Wilma M.C.M. Caris-Verhallen Netherlands Institute of Primary Health Care (NIVEL), PO Box 1568, 3500 BN Utrecht, The Netherlands. E-mail: w.caris@NIVEL.NL

Abstract

Factors related to nurse communication with elderly people

This study explores variables that might influence nurses’ communication with elderly patients. Three groups of variables arise from the literature that seem to affect the quality or quantity of nurse–patient communication: variables related to nurses, to patients, and to the setting in which nursing care takes place. The study was conducted in two different care settings: a home for elderly people and a home care organization. In a sample of 181 video-taped nursing encounters, involving 47 nurses and 109 patients a study was made of nurse–patient communication. In addition, relevant data related to patients, nurses and situation were gathered by questionnaires and were combined with the results of observations of videotaped nurse–patient interactions. It was found that the educational level of nurses was related most strongly to the way nurses communicate with their elderly patients. Patient characteristics such as age, gender and subjective state of health appeared to play a minor role in the way nurses communicate.

Ancillary