Nurses' characteristics and organisational factors associated with their assessments of individualised care in care institutions for older people

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Abstract

Rationale:

Individualised care is considered a key attribute of the quality in clinical care. Despite the environment in which the care is delivered and the care providers can influence in this concept, perceptions of individuality in the care settings for older people are rarely studied.

Aim:

To identify nurses' characteristics and organisational factors associated with nurses' views about the provision of individualised care in care settings for older people.

Study Design:

A cross-sectional multisite survey design.

Methods:

A multisite survey of nursing staff (N = 1513, n = 874, response rate 58%) working in 62 different units for older people in southwest Finland was carried out using self-administered questionnaires (The Individualised Care Scale-Nurse-B and a questionnaire gathering socio-demographic and organisational variables). Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, Spearman's correlation coefficients, paired-sample t-tests and one-way analyses of variance.

Results:

Participants' perceptions about the level of individualised care provided to older people were generally positive (Mean 3.92, SD 0.56). In this regard, taking into account the patients' clinical situation (Mean 4.31, SD 0.53) and the support of older patients' decisional control (Mean 3.80, SD 0.71) obtained the highest scores. Regarding nurses' socio-demographic variables, a positive correlation between age and type of organisation with the assessments of individualised care provision was found.

Conclusions:

The findings of this study show that nurses' age and the type of organisation where the care is delivered have an impact on the perceptions of individualised care of nurses working in institutions for older people. The participants' assessments about individualised care delivery have practical utility as it may help managers better understand and develop areas that obtained the lowest scores. This information may lead to the reduction of barriers (structures and processes) that hinder individualised care delivery and facilitate programs aimed at developing professional environments that improve the delivery of older people's care.

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