Individualised care from the orthopaedic and trauma patients' perspective: An international comparative survey

Riitta Suhonen, Agneta Berg, Ewa Idvall, Maria Kalafati, Jouko Katajisto, Lucy Land, Chryssoula Lemonidou, Maritta Anneli Vaelimaeki, Helena Leino-Kilpi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Although individualised nursing care is considered a core value in nursing in different countries, international comparative studies in this area are rare. In Western countries, common hospitalised patients, e.g. orthopaedic patients, often perceive health care as impersonal rather than individualised; a term which may also have different connotations in different cultures. Objectives: To describe and compare orthopaedic and trauma patients' perceptions of individuality in their care in four European countries. Design: A cross-sectional comparative study. Settings: 24 orthopaedic and trauma wards in 13 acute care hospitals. Participants: Data were collected from orthopaedic and trauma patients in Finland (n = 425, response rate 85%), Greece (n = 315, 86%), Sweden (n = 218, 73%) and UK (n = 135, 58%) between March 2005 and December 2006. Methods: Questionnaire survey data using the Individualised Care Scale (ICS) were obtained and analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics including frequencies, percentages, means, standard deviations, 95% confidence intervals (CI), one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), χ2statistics and univariate analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). Results: Patients perceived that nurses generally supported their individuality during specific nursing interventions and perceived individuality in their care. There were some between-country differences in the results. Patients' individuality in the clinical situation and in decisional control over their care were also generally well supported and taken into account. However, patients' personal life situation was not supported well through nursing interventions and these patients perceived lower levels of individualised care. Conclusions: North-South axis differences in patients' perceptions of individualised care may be attributed to the way nursing care is defined and organised in different European countries. Differences may be due to the differences in regional samples, and so no firm conclusions can be made. Further research will be needed to examine the effect of patient characteristics' and health care organisation variables in association with patients' perceptions of individualised care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1586-1597
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cross-country comparison
  • Individualised nursing care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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