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Respectful care of human dignity: how is it perceived by patients and nurses?
  1. Rahime Aydın Er1,
  2. Aysel İncedere2,
  3. Selda Öztürk3
  1. 1 Department of History of Medicine and Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, Kocaeli University, Kocaeli, Turkey
  2. 2 Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, The Institute of Health Sciences, Kocaeli University, Kocaeli, Turkey
  3. 3 Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Trakya University, Edirne, Turkey
  1. Correspondence to Rahime Aydın Er, Department of History of Medicine and Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, Kocaeli University, Kocaeli 41380, Turkey; raay{at}


Objective Dignified care protects the patient’s rights and provides appropriate ethical care while improving the quality of nursing care. In this context, the opinions of nurses and patients who receive nursing care about dignified care are important. The aim of this study was to explore the opinions and experiences of Turkish patients and nurses about respectful care of human dignity.

Methods This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in Turkey. Participants were inpatients at cardiology, neurology and neurosurgery clinics and nurses working in these clinics. The data for the study were collected from face-to-face interviews using questionnaires. The percentages of characteristics and preferences of the participants were calculated, and the results were analysed using statistical tests.

Results A total of 150 patients and 78 nurses participated in the study. The patients stated that the protection of their rights was the most important factor for dignified nursing care. The nurses stated that being careful to not expose the patients’ body and being respectful of the patients’ privacy were important in dignified nursing care. The age of the patient, duration of the disease, number of hospitalisations and length of time the nurses had been working at the clinic caused significant changes in the factors considered important in dignified care.

Conclusions Our findings provide a perspective on dignified care in the Turkish healthcare setting. There were some differences between patients and nurses in the factors considered important for dignified care. The discussion with patients and nurses related to care and practices that protect or detract from human dignity can provide insights to ethics.

  • clinical ethics
  • human dignity
  • nursing care
  • dignified care

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  • Contributors RAE, AI and SO conceived and designed the study. AI and SO did recruitment of participants and data collection and drafted the manuscript. RAE contributed to data collection, statistical analysis and interpretation and revising the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval Human Research Ethics Committee, Kocaeli University (date 20 February 2012, number: KOUHREI 6/8).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Presented at This study was presented during the 8th International Congress of Turkish Bioethics Association ’Human in the Bioethics, Biotechnology and Biopolitics' at 9–12 April 2015 in Ankara (Respectful Care to Human Dignity: How Perceived by Patients and Nurses? Abstract Book s. 70-71).

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