Nurses’ articulations of the patients’ role when the vision is partnership: A qualitative study

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Although principles such as ‘patient participation’ and ‘patient involvement’ have become ideals in health-care, they have proven to be difficult to apply in practice. In 2014, one Danish region issued an official document that included the vision of ‘the patient as partner’. However, little is known about how such a vision affects clinical practice. The purpose of this study was to investigate nurses’ views on how partnerships between them and patients are established considering this vision. We conducted semi-structured interviews with eight nurses working in Danish hospitals. Then, we analysed the interviews in a Norman Fairclough-inspired critical discourse analysis. During this three-dimensional analysis, we identified three discourses. We found that a liberalistic discourse wins hegemony based on the nurses’ expectations of the patient's role. Nurses construct a picture of the patient's role, expecting the patient to be responsible and to participate. For the partnership to arise as envisioned, the patient is perceived as being dependent on the nurse's professional knowledge. Surprisingly, the nurses’ articulations of the patient's role were identical to the vision's elements. Therefore, we suggest that the vision reflects prevailing societal norms for individuals, thereby reflecting society's attitude towards people's responsibility for their own lives.

TidsskriftNursing Inquiry
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 2020

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