An evolutionary concept analysis of “patients’ values”

Mehri Karimi-Dehkordi, Jude Spiers, Alexander M. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Patients' values are everywhere and nowhere in nursing: frequently invoked and associated with effective nursing care but seldom explicitly defined or subject to dedicated analysis. Clarification of the concept of patients’ values is pivotal because respecting and supporting patients’ values are widely recognized as crucial for ethical nursing care. Despite this and the pervasive employment of the term patients’ values in theories, approaches, and clinical guidelines, the concept remains ambiguous. Purpose: We sought to understand the key elements of the concept by investigating its use in theoretical and empirical literature. Method: This study used Rodgers’ evolutionary concept analysis approach. Findings: We found that values are core individual beliefs that function in hierarchical systems; however, in the context of disease, the priority assigned to values by the individual may change. This is important, given that values play a foundational role in health-related decisions, such as in the context of chronic diseases. Discussion: Values are influenced by both individual intrinsic needs and the social context, but importantly, are involved in guiding decision-making. The attributes of the values may vary according to the context of the disease, the type of disease, and the decision at hand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-539
Number of pages17
JournalNursing Outlook
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep. 2019


  • Beliefs
  • Concept analysis
  • Decision making
  • Disease
  • Ethical nursing care
  • Evolutionary
  • Needs
  • Patients’ values


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