Aim To examine the association between hospitals’ organizational variables and patients’ perceptions of individualized care.
Background There is lack of evidence related to the effects that the hospital environment has on patient perceptions of the individuality of care they receive.
Methods A cross-sectional design was used. The questionnaire survey data were obtained from 861 (response rate 82%) hospital patients and 35 (100%) nurse managers in Finland.
Results An inverse relationship between the size of the hospital and ward and patients’ perceptions of individualized care was found. Increased staffing or skill mix failed to predict a higher patient perception of individualized care, but primary nursing care delivery did.
Conclusions Instead of increasing the amount of nursing staff, there is a need to improve the quality of the nurse–patient interactions to facilitate individualized care. The generalizability of the study is limited by the regional nature of the setting.