Being respected by nurses: Measuring older patients' perceptions

Int J Older People Nurs. 2018 Sep;13(3):e12197. doi: 10.1111/opn.12197. Epub 2018 Apr 27.


Aim and objective: To investigate older patients' perceptions of respect in hospital nursing care and to test a newly developed instrument measuring the phenomenon.

Background: Respect manifests itself in the older patient-nurse relationship in terms of nurses being with and doing for the patient. Empirical studies investigating respect from the older patients' perspective are rare. There is a need to maintain respectful behaviours and attitudes within hospital-based nursing practice. Furthermore, there is a lack of instruments measuring respect in the care provided by nurses.

Design and methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional explorative survey design was used. Data were collected between February and May 2016 by interviewing face-to-face 196 older patients in two hospitals in Finland. Respect was measured using the ReSpect scale (Parts A and B) developed for this study. Respect is based on the two dimensions of respect, nurses' Being with and Doing for patients. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistical methods including the psychometric testing of the new instrument.

Results: Older patients perceived respect in their care frequently and to a great extent, although there were also shortcomings. The findings highlight the need to improve respect to patients in care delivery by showing an interest in their views, acknowledging them positively and supporting their individual capacities. A two-factor structure of the ReSpect scale Part A and a four-factor structure of the Part B were confirmed.

Conclusions: Findings from this study suggest that older hospital patients perceived respect by nurses overall, but the area where there is the most room for improvement is that of listening and encouraging. The psychometric analysis demonstrated that the ReSpect scale shows promise in measuring respect.

Implications for practice: The ReSpect scale could be a useful tool to measure respect, an important element of value-based health care.

Keywords: ethics; instrument; nursing care; older patients; psychometric testing; respect.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nurse-Patient Relations*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital*
  • Psychometrics
  • Respect*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires