Concept Analysis: Patient Advocacy
College of Science and Health Professions
Department of Health Professions: Nursing
The purpose of this concept analysis is to identify, focus, and refine how patient advocacy is perceived by professional nurses in the nursing community. This paper will follow the Walker and Advant (2011) method of concept analysis to identify the concept of patient advocacy from existing literature with the aim to analyze and provide clarity and direction for enhancement of advocacy in nursing. Further, steps will include the process of identifying attributes of the concept, describing all model cases selected, identifying antecedents and consequences regarding the concept, and lastly, identifying examples of empirical referents of the concept (Walker & Avant, 2011). Identification of Concept and Aim of Analysis
Patients often have an inadequate knowledge of illness and medicine, yet they desire more control over their personal healthcare. In many healthcare settings, patient care is unpredictable and patient’s right to self-determine and quality-of-life has a tendency to be ignored (Bu & Jezewski, 2006). Advocacy is understood as the act of pleading for, supporting, or recommending (Webster’s Online Dictionary, n.d.). Moreover, the concept most often noted in literature as a component of nursing advocacy involves acting on behalf of patients, including nurses’ activities of speaking, fighting, and standing up for their patients (Hanks, 2007). Nurses are in a unique position to support their patient’s interests in the re-establishment of health and well-being through patient advocacy. However, due to the limited number of quantitative empirical studies of patient advocacy in nursing, the definition of patient advocacy is not consistent, and many nurses have a limited view of what patient advocacy is and how to perform the challenging task of protecting and supporting patient’s rights. (Bu & Jezewski, 2006). The aim of this analysis is to clarify, define, and refine the concept of patient advocacy in order to expand understanding of this concept in nursing practice. Defining Attributes
According to much of the literature, defining attributes of patient advocacy involves a series of specific actions by nurses to protect, represent, and safeguard the patients’ rights, best interests, and values within the healthcare system (Bu & Jezewski, 2006). As well, safeguarding patient’s autonomy, acting on behalf of patients, and defending social justice in the delivery of health care are all core attributes of patient-care advocacy (Bu & Jezewski, 2006). The title of patient supporter and patient representative is also used frequently in research literature to describe the role of the nurse advocate (Hank, 2007). These attributes place patients at the center of the of the healthcare system, emphasizing patients’ legal rights and well-being, and nurses’ humanity, kindness, and fairness in the delivery of health care (Bu & Jezewski, 2006). Cases of Patient Advocacy
Cases of patient advocacy can be examples of several main factors that define and challenge the attributes that facilitate or hinder nurses as patient advocates. A model case is defined as “an example of the use of the concept that demonstrates all the defining attributes of the concept” (Walker & Avant, 2011, p. 163). In addition to the model case exemplar, the attributes of patient advocacy will be defined and challenged through case examples of borderline, related, and contrary cases. Model Case
An example of a model case for patient advocacy involves a Registered Nurse who has been working as the charge nurse of a busy Emergency Department for 15 years. P.B. has just come on shift, when an air emergency vehicle lands on the helipad with a 22-year-old, male, trauma patient. The paramedic reports that the patient was involved in a two vehicle head-on collision, the patient was ejected from...
References: Bu, X. & Jezewski, M.A. (2006). Developing a mid-range theory of patient advocacy through concept analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 57(1), 101-110. doi:10.111/j.1365-2648.2006.04096.x
Hanks, R.G. (2007). Barriers to nursing advocacy: a concept analysis. Nursing Forum, 42(4), 171-177. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6198.2007.00084.x
Merriam-Webster Online. (2012). Advocacy. Retrieved from
Walker, L. O., & Avant, K. C. (2011). Strategies for theory construction in nursing. (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
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