Maintaining Patient Dignity From Nurses' Perspectives in Taiwan

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Yea-Pyng Lin, RN
School of nursing, Chang-Gung University, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan
Yun-Fang Tsai, PhD, RN
Chang Gung University, School of Nursing, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to know Dignity is a core factor of nursing care. In nurses’ clinical practice, maintaining patients’ dignity is very importment.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to know the model of maintaining dignity in patient care can be utilized in clinical practice.


The purpose of this paper is to report on a study undertaken to understand how nurses in Taiwan maintain patients’ dignity in clinical practice.

 Methods:  For this qualitative descriptive study, data were collected from March to May 2009 in semi-structured, in-depth interviews with 30 nurses purposively sampled from a teaching hospital in eastern Taiwan. Audiotaped interviews were transcribed verbatim, and data in transcripts were coded and analysed by content analysis.

Results: Analysis of interview data indicated that nurses’ measures to maintain dignity in patient care were captured in five themes: respect, protecting privacy, emotional support, treating all patients alike, and maintaining body image.

Conclusion: The findings can help clinical nurses recognise and employ measures that maintain patients’ dignity care. Suggestions are provided for the development of an in-service education course and a protocol for maintaining patient dignity in care. Moreover, we suggest expanding the five principles of Taiwan’s Ethics Code of Nursing into seven by incorporating into it emotional support and maintaining body image as indicated by this study.