• individualized nursing care;
  • patient satisfaction;
  • health-related quality of life

Aims.  This paper reports a study of the maintenance of individualized care from surgical patients’ point of view and examines associations between individualized care, patient satisfaction with nursing care, and health-related quality of life.

Rationale.  There is preliminary evidence that individualized care is effective from patients’ point of view, and is associated with improved patient outcomes, such as patient satisfaction and quality of life. However, individualized care has mainly been studied from the vantage-point of nurses’ experiences.

Methods.  In this cross-sectional, descriptive, correlational study the data were collected with surgical adult patients (n = 279, response rate 93%) in surgical wards in Finland using self-administered questionnaires including the Individualized Care Scales, Patient-Satisfaction Scale, and Finnish versions of the Nottingham Health Profile and EuroQol 5D. Associations between individualized care, satisfaction with care and health-related quality of life were examined. Cronbach's alpha values and item analysis were used to evaluate the psychometric properties of the instruments, especially the Individualized Care Scales.

Results.  The more often patients felt they received support for individuality through specific nursing interventions, the higher the individuality of care received. Secondly, the more individualized patients regarded their care, the higher the level of reported patient satisfaction with nursing care. However, the correlation between individualized care and health-related quality of life was fairly low, albeit statistically significant.

Conclusion.  Individualized care may produce positive outcomes, such as patient satisfaction. Further research is needed to explore individualized care in relation to health-related quality of life.