Personal Autonomy: Development of a Nursing Outcomes Classification Label

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Autonomy is defined as having control over one's life, not being subject to the will of another, the right of self-determination, and the right to decide, or freedom of choice. An autonomous individual is protected from unwanted interference. There is a consistent theme running through the literature of nursing, medicine, and ethics that assumes that the autonomous individual is sufficiently competent to receive, understand, and make choices based on information available. Using a focus group approach, a Nursing Outcomes Classification label, a definition, and indicators were developed for personal autonomy. The definition and indicators were refined into a conceptually and clinically coherent outcome. Findings include the definition and 11 measurable indicators. Clinical relevance and utility are currently under investigation.

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