Nurses' and patients' perception on the importance of nurse-caring behaviours: a study at surgical wards of Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi
Although the importance of caring in nursing and its influence on patients' satisfaction with healthcare services has been demonstrated, there is minimal study on caring in surgical settings in developing countries. A cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out at surgical wards of Kenyatta National Hospital to compare nurses' and patients' perceptions on importance of nursecaring behaviours. A questionnaire based on carative factors of Watson's theory of human caring, developed by Cronin and Harrison in 1988, was used to collect data from 182 adult patients and 127 nurses selected by quota sampling that involved convenience sampling from the created strata of the 10 surgical wards. Analysis of data was done using univariate and bivariate statistics. Results showed the most important nurse-caring behaviour as ranked by patients to be 'give me treatments and medications on time' while for nurses it was 'treat patient as an individual'. Subscales 'Human needs assistance' and 'Humanism! faith-hopei sensitivity' and were rated most important by patients and nurses respectively. Of the ten most important nurse-caring behaviours as ranked by the study participants only three items were common to both groups, namely, 'give patient treatments and medications on time', 'treat patient with respect' and 'know when it is necessary to call the doctor' The results demonstrated a degree of incongruence between nurses' and patients' perception on the importance of various dimensions of caring. It is recommended that this incongruence be addressed by nurses in clinical practice, education and administration levels to enhance patients' satisfaction with nursing services. Researches in various healthcare settings to gain insight into the impact of caring on patient outcomes andhealthcare costs are recommended.