• assessment of older patients;
  • patient preferences;
  • shared decision making


  • The refinement of a patient assessment tool for older patients, Lorensen's Self-Care Capability Scale, is described where a systematic elicitation of patient preferences is included in the assessment.
  • This study tests a decision analytic approach as a strategy for formalizing subjective judgement, which makes it possible to include patients' own values and preferences in planning patient care.
  • Applying this technique to patient assessment contributes to explicitly tailoring nursing care decisions to desired outcomes as preferred by individual patients.
  • A shared approach to decision making between nurse and patient ensures a mutual understanding about goals, priorities and patient values through discussion and negotiation.
  • This pilot study supported the merit of including patient preferences systematically in the assessment of older patients.
  • The method provides an important decision aid for nurses in planning nursing care in accordance with patients' own values and preferences for care.