Older adults' perceptions of feeling safe in urban and rural acute care

J Nurs Adm. 2013 Jan;43(1):30-6. doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e3182786013.


Objective: The purposes of this study were to identify factors that influenced hospitalized older adults' perceptions of feeling safe and to identify differences in perceptions between rural and urban contexts.

Background: Efforts are underway to ensure patient physical safety and improve care quality in acute-care environments. Perception of care is a unique and independent dimension of quality that includes patients' views of care and how these perceptions might affect responses to illness.

Method: Grounded theory method was used to identify the basic social process of feeling safe in acute care.

Results: Older adults felt safe when nurses provided oversight, were predictable, provided personalized care, and were willing to advocate for them.

Conclusions: Findings are consistent with professional models that center on the human relational components of care. Nurse leaders can facilitate practice environments where relational aspects of nurse work, including patients' perceptions of feeling safe, are the norm, thereby creating exceptional patient care delivery systems.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged / psychology*
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization*
  • Hospitals, Rural
  • Hospitals, Urban
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Midwestern United States
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing Care*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital
  • Patient Advocacy
  • Patient Safety*
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Trust