Perceptions of privacy in the care of elderly people in five European countries

Anja Schopp, Helena Leino-Kilpi, Maritta Anneli Vaelimaeki, Theo Dassen, Maria Gasull, Chryssoula Lemonidou, P. Anne Scott, Marianne Arndt, Anne Kaljonen

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


The focus of this article is on elderly patients' and nursing staff perceptions of privacy in the care of elderly patients/residents in five European countries. Privacy includes physical, social and informational elements. The results show that perceptions of privacy were strongest in the UK (Scotland) and weakest in Greece. Country comparisons revealed statistically significant differences between the perceptions of elderly patients and also between those of nurses working in the same ward or long-term care facility. Perceptions of privacy by patients and their nursing staff were quite similar in Finland, Germany and the UK. In contrast, in Greece and Spain these perceptions were different: nurses believed that they took account of their patients' privacy needs more often than the patients themselves felt this was the case. Among Spanish and UK patients, an association was found between lower levels of independence and comparatively less positive perceptions of privacy. No associations were established between nurses' perceptions and their demographic factors. This is the third of a set of five articles published together in this issue of Nursing Ethics in which the results of this comparative research project are presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-47
Number of pages9
JournalNursing Ethics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Elderly people
  • Nursing ethics
  • Privacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects


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