This study was a grounded-theory approach to the social processes engaged in by elderly people while in the hospital. Staff behaviors were identified along two continua, attitude, which affected the elders' dignity and autonomy, and managing care, which affected the elders' health. Elders described the physicians' role as the director of their health care. The elders characterized the nurses' role to provide their medications and direct needs, whereas the nurses identified their role as providing education and emotional support. Implications and recommendations for practice are offered.
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