Nurses’ perceptions of individualized care


R. Suhonen: e-mail:


suhonen r., gustafsson m.-l., katajisto j., välimäki m. & leino-kilpi h. (2010) Nurses’ perceptions of individualized care. Journal of Advanced Nursing66(5), 1035–1046.


Title. Nurses’ perceptions of individualized care.

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study of nurses’ perceptions of individualized care, the factors associated with these perceptions, and nurses’ perceptions of the provision of individualized care in different types of healthcare organization.

Background.  Although individualized care has been an internationally-challenging and long-standing research topic in nursing, the current literature on individualized care from the perspective of nurses is limited.

Methods.  A cross-sectional, descriptive and exploratory design using a questionnaire (Individualised Care Scale–Nurse) was employed to survey a stratified sample of 544 nurses (response rate 59%) working as Registered or Enrolled Nurses in one hospital district in Finland in 2008. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics (General Linear Model, one-way analysis of variance) and Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for reliability analysis.

Results.  Nurses perceived that they supported patient individuality well and that the care they provided took into account patient individuality. Based on the General Linear Model, nurses’ background variables were not associated with their perceptions of individualized care delivery. However, between-organization differences were found in all study variables: mental health ward nurses had the most positive perceptions, and nurses working in primary health centre long-term care wards the lowest.

Conclusion.  Healthcare organizations and work environments need to be evaluated as they may have an influence on individualized care provision. The Individualised Care Nurse instrument is sensitive to healthcare working environments and can be used in evaluating nurses’ perceptions of individualized care.