Organizational Influences on Patient Perceptions of Symptom Management

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We tested a theoretical model of the relationships of hospital context, nursing unit structure, and patient characteristics to patients' perceptions of the extent to which nurses met their expectations for management of troubling symptoms. In our sample of 2,720 patients randomly selected from 278 nursing units in 143 hospitals, we found that patient age was positively associated with patients' perceptions of symptom management. The proportion of registered nurses as caregivers on the unit was not a significant predictor of symptom management, but better work conditions on the unit (nurses' autonomy, participation in decision-making, and collaboration with other disciplines [relational coordination]) significantly contributed to patients' perceptions of better symptom management.

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