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Patients with cancer described 8 attributes of high quality nursing care that contributed to a sense of wellbeing and increased fortitude

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QUESTION: What are the perceptions of patients with cancer about the attributes and outcomes of high quality nursing care?


Grounded theory.


The haematology-oncology service of a medical centre in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The service used a primary nursing care delivery system.


22 patients with cancer (age range 27–82 y, 68% women) who were fluent in English. All were receiving or had recently received chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.


Patients participated in semi-structured interviews, which were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Data analysis was concurrent with collection, and involved the constant comparative method of open, axial, and selective coding until theoretical saturation was achieved. Qualitative researchers, colleagues, and all patients were asked to review the analysis; 8 patients responded and confirmed that the findings reflected their experiences.

Main findings

Patients described 8 attributes of high quality nursing care and related how specific attributes contributed to 2 general outcomes: a sense of wellbeing and fortitude. …

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  • Sources of funding: Sigma Theta Tau International, Alpha Chi and Theta Alpha Chapters.

  • For correspondence: Dr L Radwin, Department of Adult and Gerontological Nursing, College of Nursing, University of Massachusetts Boston, 100 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA 02125–3393, USA. Fax +1 617 287 7527.