The study's rationale: Patients’ influence in health care through participation, freedom of choice and information, is laid down in laws, national and local directives. In nursing care situations, the degree to which a patient participates depends on the nursing staff. Accordingly, hindrances for patient's participation during nursing care is an important question for the nursing profession.
Aims and objectives: The aim was to focus on Swedish Registered Nurses opinion of hindrances for patient participation in nursing care and to uncover the informants’ perspectives in depth.
Methodological design and justification: The study was limited to inpatient somatic care and has a qualitative approach. Data were collected through seven focus group interviews with 31 Registered Nurses from five hospitals. An analysis of the tape-recorded interview material was made, combining elements of content analysis with aspects of the Grounded Theory approach.
Ethical issues and approval: The ethics of scientific work was followed. The participants gave informed consent. Verbal and written information was given as a guarantee that all information would be treated confidentially outside the focus group. Formal approval by ethical committee was not required according to national and local directives.
Results: Hindrance for patient participation in nursing care comprised three themes: Competence, Influence of significant others and Organization and work environment, and their seven underlying subthemes.
Conclusions: The study clarified factors, which individually or combined may be hindrance for patient participation in nursing practice. Professional nurses must be able to find a balance for their patients’ participation in nursing care activities through identification and coping with the hindrances. The three themes and seven subthemes here identified, can be used in patient care and its’ evaluation, like also quality assurance of care and work organization and in nursing education. For further development replication studies are needed, like additional studies of patients and significant others.