RISK FOR COMPROMISED HUMAN DIGNITY
At risk for perceived loss of respect and honor
• Cultural incongruity
• Disclosure of conﬁdential information
• Exposure of the body
• Inadequate participation in decision making
• Loss of control of bodily functions
• Perceived dehumanizing treatment
• Perceived humiliation
• Perceived invasion of privacy
• Use of undeﬁned medical terms
ASSESSMENT FOCUS (Refer to comprehensive assessment parameters.)
• Values and beliefs
The patient will
• Express satisfaction with level of respect.
• Identify those things that will reduce feelings of powerlessness and
vulnerability and increase perception of autonomy.
The patient and family will
• Agree on a plan to protect patient’s privacy and respect patient’s
conﬁdentiality; family members will evaluate the progress they are
making in protecting the patient’s right to conﬁdentiality.
• Express satisfaction with the level of respect shown to patient’s
SUGGESTED NOC OUTCOMES
Client Satisfaction; Protection of Rights; Coping; Personal
INTERVENTIONS AND RATIONALES
Determine: Assess patient’s perception of the current health problem
and problem-solving techniques he or she uses to cope. Determine
level of family involvement and support. Ask about support systems,
including family, friends, and clergy. Determine patient’s legal status,
including the authority to give consent for treatments or procedures.
Assessment of these factors will assist in identifying appropriate
Perform: Schedule time to spend with the patient to listen to
concerns and feelings about current situation.
Develop a plan visiting with patient to ensure that the desirable
level of privacy is being maintained.
Incorporate questions into discussions with the patient that are
open-ended, and start with such words as “what,” “how,” and
“could,” rather than “why.” Open-minded, nonthreatening question-
ing encourages the patient to discuss issues of concern and improve
ability to articulate what he or she desires.
Schedule team meetings with staff to ensure that communication
with the patient is consistent and truthful.
Inform: Provide education on legal and ethical rights of the patient
to have his human dignity respected, as well as the hospital’s or
agency’s policies on respecting the rights of patients. Include family
in this process. Every patient is entitled to have a copy of the hospi-
tal’s Bill of Patient’s Rights.
Arrange a team conference with the staff to review with patient
and family information on bioethics and moral rights of patients.
Role model or provide case studies with situations to allow staff to
design strategies for handling difﬁcult issues associated with patient’s
Attend: Encourage discussion of thoughts and feelings about the
overuse of negative expressions on the part of the patient by
suggesting strategies such as a rubber band on the wrist to snap
every time negative expressions begin. Negative expressions can
impair the patient’s progress toward a healthy lifestyle.
Encourage role-playing of verbal and nonverbal communication
techniques in a safe environment to enhance communication skills.
Provide support through active listening, appropriate periods of
silence, reﬂection on feelings, and paraphrasing and summarizing
comments. Active listening techniques encourage patient
participation in communication.
Make sure that patient has clear explanations for everything that
will happen to him. Ask for feedback to ensure that patient under-
stands. Anxiety may impair patient’s cognitive abilities.
Manage: Refer patient and/or family to a support network that will
relate to them in regards to caregiving, the pressures of illness, and
other issues related to respecting human dignity. A support network
will provide an outlet for the family members as they work through
the various issues.
SUGGESTED NIC INTERVENTIONS
Body Image Enhancement; Self-Awareness Enhancement; Self-Esteem
Coventry, M. L. (2006, May). Care with dignity: A concept analysis. Journal
of Gerontological Nursing, 32(5), 42–48.