• ethical values;
  • geriatric wards;
  • grounded theory;
  • next of kin;
  • nursing ethics

Jonasson L-L, Liss P-E, Westerlind B, Berterö C. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2010; 16: 20–26 Ethical values in caring encounters on a geriatric ward from the next of kin's perspective: An interview study

The aim of this study was to identify and describe the governing ethical values that next of kin experience in interaction with nurses who care for elderly patients at a geriatric clinic. Interviews with 14 next of kin were conducted and data were analysed by constant comparative analysis. Four categories were identified: receiving, showing respect, facilitating participation and showing professionalism. These categories formed the basis of the core category: ‘Being amenable’, a concept identified in the next of kin's description of the ethical values that they and the elderly patients perceive in the caring encounter. Being amenable means that the nurses are guided by ethical values; taking into account the elderly patient and the next of kin. Nurses' focusing on elderly patients' well-being as a final criterion affects the next of kin and their experience of this fundamental condition for high-quality care seems to be fulfilled.