Preserving dignity in caring for older adults: a concept analysis
Article first published online: 22 AUG 2007
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Volume 59, Issue 6, pages 635–643, September 2007
How to Cite
Anderberg, P., Lepp, M., Berglund, A.-L. and Segesten, K. (2007), Preserving dignity in caring for older adults: a concept analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 59: 635–643. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.04375.x
- Issue published online: 22 AUG 2007
- Article first published online: 22 AUG 2007
- Accepted for publication 24 May 2007
- concept analysis;
- nurse–patient interaction;
- older adults;
- quality of care
Title. Preserving dignity in caring for older adults: a concept analysis
Aim. This paper is a report of a concept analysis of the meaning of preserving dignity.
Background. Preserving dignity, especially when caring for older adults, is essential when giving nursing care. There is a lack of clarity about what kinds of caring activities lead to preserved dignity.
Method. Data were collected using several databases (CINAHL, Age Info, Libris, Medline, Pub Med, Psyc INFO and Blackwell Synergy) covering the years 1990–2005. The keywords used were ‘dignity’, ‘human dignity’, ‘preserving dignity’, ‘elderly’, ‘aged’, combined with ‘patients/persons’, ‘caring relation’ and ‘nursing’. The analysis covered 53 articles, dissertations, reports and textbooks.
Findings. Dignity may be defined as a concept that relates to basic humanity. Dignity consists of inherent and external dimensions, which are common for all humans and at the same time are unique for each person, relating to social and cultural aspects. The attributes of preserving dignity are individualized care, control restored, respect, advocacy and sensitive listening. Antecedents are professional knowledge, responsibility, reflection and non-hierarchical organization. The consequences are strengthening life spirit, an inner sense of freedom, self-respect and successful coping.
Conclusion. Preserving an older adult’s dignity is complex. By using the attributes in, for example, nursing documentation, the action and value of preserving dignity could be made visible as a professional nursing activity.