alexa Abstract | Defining nursing intimacy: Nurses' perceptions of intimacy

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Introduction: Concurrent perspectives in nursing believe that the nurse-patient intimacy is central to patient health, well-being and recovery. Patients’ healing and positive therapeutic outcomes believed to be essentially related to the level of intimacy between the nurses and patients. However, despite the imperative theoretical discussion of intimacy and intimate care, there appears to be a lack of conceptual clarity from a nursing perspective and little published research investigating intimacy in practice. Both of these areas are arguably critical to the successful implementation of the concept of intimacy in practice. The latter issue is particularly important in the light of the current political and economic climate, which favors cost containment and cost effectiveness. Aim: The purpose of this study was to explore Greek nurses' perceptions and experiences of intimacy within the nurse-patient relationship. Methods: A qualitative research approach based on the principles of naturalistic inquiry was chosen for the study. Data collection was carried out in two general hospitals of Athens which consisted the study sites. A non-probability convenience sampling strategy was applied. Semi-structured interviews (including a 7-theme interview scheme) were used for data collection. Content analysis performed for interpreting the collected data. Results: Twenty four (24) registered nurses consisted the study participants. The interview transcripts were analyzed and three main categories that described the nurses’ views on nursing intimacy, were developed. Findings of these categories revealed that nurses relate the concept of intimacy with the concept of respect. Specifically nurses viewed intimacy as an important component of patient care, context of care and application of care. Finally, the core category “nursing intimacy and respect” arose from the participants’ views. Conclusions: Intimacy in nursing care is valued by registered nurses as an important component of quality patient care and is strongly related to the context of care and the application of care. Additional research at exploring

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Author(s): Areti Stavropoulou Evridiki Kaba Victory Ariyo Obamwonyi Iretioluwa Adeosun Michalis Rovithis Zacharias Zidianakis


Respect, nursing intimacy, nursing care.

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