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AIMS: To explore healthcare professionals' perspectives of dignified care and experiences of providing care. BACKGROUND: Although 'care' and dignity in care are seen as central to the delivery of good care by patients, families and professionals, we still lack a clear understanding of what these, often contested and elusive concepts, mean in the practice setting, particularly from the perspective of healthcare professionals. DESIGN: Interview based qualitative research design. METHODS: In-depth interviews were conducted with healthcare professionals working in four UK NHS trusts. Data were collected between June-November 2012. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. FINDINGS: Forty-eight healthcare professionals took part in this interview based study. Two main themes that encapsulated how care and dignity in care is enacted by professionals were identified: focusing on the 'little' things that matter to both professionals and patients; and improving care by making poor care 'visible'. CONCLUSION: Our findings show that the 'little things' in care allow professionals to 'care for' but also 'care about' patients, suggesting that these two aspects of caring become intrinsically interlinked. Our findings also suggest that 'making poor care visible' challenges engrained and task rather than human focused care in a non-threatening way, which can be the catalyst for providing care that is caring and dignified.

Original publication




Journal article


J Adv Nurs

Publication Date





782 - 790


caring, dignified care, good care, healthcare professionals’ perspectives, nursing, older people, qualitative methods, Adult, Attitude of Health Personnel, Attitude to Health, Delivery of Health Care, Empathy, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Patient-Centered Care, Professional-Patient Relations, Quality of Health Care, Young Adult