Exploring the meaning of participation in nursing care: the old persons' perspective in the community
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It is evident in the literature that there is no clear definition of the term participation. Researchers that deal with this issue mention that it is a term that is used with the same meaning as patient collaboration, patient involvement, patient partnership (Ashworth et al, 1992; Cahill, 1998) and even self help. This study aims to uncover the meaning of participation in nursing care for old persons living in the community.The Husserlian phenomenological approach was chosen to investigate the phenomenon. Twenty three old persons living in the community were recruited through four open day care centres in both urban and rural Greece. Unstructured interviews were performed in order to obtain their views and experiences regarding the issue under investigation. Collaizzi's method of data analysis was employed to analyse the data.Furthermore, phenomenological research is suggested to be an efficient way of getting to know other people's reality in order to plan future care and use the information to improve the existing services. That is because the clients' needs can be identified, therefore, the results of a phenomenological research can contribute in the provision and justification of high quality care.This thesis calls for a change of attitude of nurses so that people are prepared to participate as they wish. There is a change of culture in the provision of health care as information is now accessible from many sources and people feel more responsible regarding their health and managing their illness. In addition, the context of community, where old people are at home, makes them feel more in control and able to participate in all aspects of nursing care.