The aim of this study was to describe patient autonomy, privacy and the implementation of the principle of informed consent in the care of elderly patients in facilities experienced by themselves. This study is part of the BIOMED 2 project "Patients' autonomy and privacy in nursing interventions" supported by the European Commission. Interview data (n = 95) were collected among elderly people in German facilities for geriatrics and in nursing homes. The results showed there was a lack of opportunity by the elderly people to make self-determined decisions. The principle of "informed consent" was hardly realised. The participants felt their privacy was not respected in multi-bedded rooms and in situations of dressing and eliminating. One can proceed on the assumption that the lack of information, the need of help and the fixed organizing structures of the facilities are the reasons why elderly people play a rather passive role as patients. It might be possible to improve the autonomy of elderly people if the nurses as an advocate supported them to make self-determined decisions. The implementation of the principle of informed consent with regard to nursing interventions would promote both autonomy and respect of privacy. Furthermore, one can assume that the autonomy and quality of life of elderly people could be promoted if the organizing structures of the facilities were more flexible.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2001|
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