Background: An increase in the prevalence of body art as a form of self-expression has motivated health care organizations to develop policies addressing nursing personnel's body art.
Methods: A systematic review of literature on body art was completed and a telephone survey of 15 hospitals was conducted to query existing policy statements addressing nursing personnel's body art.
Results: The literature established no prevalence of body art among nurses or effect of nurses' body art. Of the 13 hospitals (86%) that shared their policy on body art, none provided a rationale or references to support their existing policies.
Conclusion: A lack of published evidence identifying the effect of body art among nurses shifts the burden of determining care outcomes to the leadership of individual hospitals. Further research on patients' perception of nursing personnel with visible body art, using an evidence-based model, is recommended.
Copyright 2010, SLACK Incorporated.