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J Nurs Manag. 2019 Mar;27(2):286-300. doi: 10.1111/jonm.12670. Epub 2018 Aug 6.

Gratitude between patients and their families and health professionals: A scoping review.

Author information

1
ATLANTES Research Program, Institute for Culture and Society (ICS), University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.
2
St John's Hospice, London, UK.
3
IdiSNA, Área Onco-Hematología: Medicina Paliativa, Pamplona, España.
4
School of Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Development, University of British, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Abstract

AIM:

To synthesize existing evidence regarding gratitude in health care relationships, with a specific focus on expressions of gratitude from patients and their families to health professionals, including their meaning and impact.

BACKGROUND:

Studying expressions of gratitude by patients and their families within the scope of health care is an innovative way of identifying the most valuable elements of care.

EVALUATION:

A scoping review of three data bases was conducted using the terms gratitude and health professionals (1984-2016). Data were extracted, analysed thematically and synthesized.

KEY ISSUES:

A total of 32 publications were identified, around half being opinions or reflections. Thematic analysis resulted in the identification of three themes: the characteristics of expressions of gratitude, the focus of expressions of gratitude and the effect of gratitude on health professionals.

CONCLUSIONS:

Expressions of gratitude by patients and their families may have an important personal and professional effect on health professionals that is long lasting. A systematic study of its effect is needed.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT:

Gratitude from patients and their families may contribute to motivation and retention among health professionals. Gratitude can be nurtured and is associated with a healthy work environment.

KEYWORDS:

gratitude; health care relationships; health professionals; patient/family; scoping review

PMID:
30084234
DOI:
10.1111/jonm.12670

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