Deakin University

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Fostering trust in the nurse-patient relationship with hospitalised ethnic elderly

Version 2 2024-06-04, 01:04
Version 1 2016-01-11, 08:24
conference contribution
posted on 2024-06-04, 01:04 authored by M Johnstone, Alison HutchinsonAlison Hutchinson, H Rawson, B Redley
Background: Trust has been identified as a vital value in the nurse-patient relationship. Conceptualisation of trust as a normative principle has been widely theorised in the nursing ethics literature and, over the past three decades, its characteristics and the different factors influencing its expression have been the subject of a small number of empirical studies. Of the studies published, however, none has investigated the specific processes that nurses have used to foster trust in nurse-patient relationships involving the provision of EOL care to ethnic elderly patients in acute hospital settings. Methods: This study was progressed as a naturalistic inquiry using a qualitative exploratory descriptive approach. Data were collected from a criterion-based purposeful sample of 22 Victorian registered nurses and analyzed using content and thematic analysis strategies. Results: Participants strongly believed that in order to provide effective and meaningful EOL care, they needed to foster a trusting nurse-patient relationship. Such a relationship was achieved by their: ‘getting to know the patient and family first’, ‘giving a bit of ourselves’, ‘taking the time necessary’ (e.g., to build relationship and not rushing conversations about the patient dying), ‘gleaning information from the patient’, ‘reading people well’, ‘learning from each other (i.e., patients and nurses)’, ‘overcoming suspicious talk’, ‘respecting the patient’s life wishes’, ‘keeping the patient clean’, ‘placing meaning into their experience’ and generally working in a focused way to foster trust in the nurse-patient relationship. Conclusions: Processes for developing trust in the nurse-patient relationship rested primarily on the interpersonal attributes of the nurses concerned. While their professional competencies were also important, it was their willingness to ‘give a bit of themselves’ that ultimately laid the foundations for a trusting relationship to be developed.



Alice Springs, N.T.

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E3.1 Extract of paper


Conference Proceedings

Title of proceedings

AAG 2015 : Place, spirit, heart: exploring experiences of ageing : Proceedings of the 48th Australian Association of Gerontology's National Conference


Australian Association of Gerontology. Conference (48th : 2015 : Alice Springs, N.T.)


Australian Association of Gerontology