• factor analysis;
  • hospital care;
  • nurses;
  • nursing care;
  • patient participation

The aim was to investigate nursing staff's perceptions related to patient participation and the parameters affecting it during nursing care. A cross-sectional study with both a quantitative and qualitative orientation was conducted. The sample consisted of all nursing staff working in medical and surgical wards in three Greek hospitals. A questionnaire was developed and the data were analysed with exploratory factor analysis, whereas content analysis was used for qualitative data. Nursing staff perceived participation as the process of information giving to patients, communication of symptoms by patients and compliance with the staff's orders. ‘Information providing’ and ‘ability to influence and responsibility were significant aspects of the content of participation, whereas the parameters affecting participation were related to patients, nursing staff and the care context. These results support patient engagement in dialogue and shared decision-making, while highlighting the need to implement participation systematically and stimulate changes in nursing care organization.