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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Privacy needs of women hospitalized for gynecological surgery Anderson, Lynda May


This phenomenological study was designed to explore the privacy needs of gynecological patients, as perceived by the clients during hospitalization, for the purpose of adding to knowledge and understanding of patients' privacy. Data were collected through sixteen in-depth interviews with eight recently hospitalized patients. The interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed verbatim for each participant. Data were analyzed using Giorgi's (1975) procedure. Analysis of participants' accounts revealed that privacy was important to participants' maintenance of their self-identity. Characteristics of privacy that participants identified as helping to maintain their self-identity included providing time alone for contemplation and helping to control interactions with others. Participants reported that privacy was important for their comfort during situations involving nursing care, basic needs and social interactions with others. Participants suggested that even though they reduced their expectations of privacy during the hospital stay, their privacy needs in hospital were at times still not met. Factors within the hospital setting that contributed or detracted from participants' hospital privacy included behavior of the nurses, doctors, roommates and the physical environment of the hospital. Participants indicated that nurses were the main factor in meeting privacy needs especially while caring for participants and participants' roommates. The findings of this study indicated that participants were willing to trade some privacy for health care. However, participants still valued privacy and considered it important during their hospital stay. There is a lack of research on privacy and acute care hospitalization. Recommendations for further nursing research, nursing practice, nursing education and nursing administration, based on the findings of this study, are presented in the final chapter of the study.

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