What is it about?

It is hard for us to see ourselves as others see us. In this study we compared nurses' perceptions of their own caring behaviors with patients' perception of the care nurses provide.

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Why is it important?

It is hard for us to see ourselves as others see us. Often nurses and other healthcare providers believe they are behaving with compassion and sensitivity because they are helping others. However, helping activities are not always perceived by recipients as caring. Nurses and other helpers need to be aware that this gap in perceptions can exist.


Good patient-clinician relationships are vital to positive consumer healthcare experiences, and good patient experience is positively related to desired clinical outcomes, such as lower readmission and mortality rates. From the financial perspective, Medicare's Hospital Value-Based Purchasing program rewards hospitals that have better patient experience scores, and there are indirect revenue enhancements for hospitals related to lower medical malpractice risks and lower staff turn-over. Perceiving nursing activities as caring may be an important factor in patient experience during hospital admission, but it is not guaranteed. The congruency between patient perception of nurse caring and nurse perceptions is important for nurse self-assessment, as well as entity profitability.

Patricia Newcomb
Texas Health Resources

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Perception of Caring Among Patients and Nurses, Journal of Patient Experience, August 2018, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/2374373518795713.
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