Supporting and promoting personhood in long term care settings: Contextual factors

Elena O Siegel, Ruth A. Anderson, Joy Calkin, Charlene H. Chu, Kirsten N. Corazzini, Mary E. Dellefield, Claire Goodman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The need for personhood-focused long-term care (LTC) is well-documented. A myriad of sociocultural, political, nursing/professional and organisational contexts facilitate or hinder registered nurses (RNs)' capacity to ensure personhood-focused LTC. Complexities derive from the countless interrelated aspects of these contexts, blurring clear distinctions of causality, responsibility and accountability. Context-related complexities were highlighted at a recent international conference attended by invited experts in LTC leadership from six countries (Canada, USA, England, Northern Ireland, New Zealand and Sweden). The group was convened to explore the value and contributions of RNs in LTC (McGilton, International Journal of Older People Nursing 7, 282). The purpose of this paper is to expand the discussion of personhood-focused care beyond RNs, to contexts that influence the RN's capacity to ensure personhood-focused practices are embedded in LTC settings. Consistent with key topics covered at the international conference, we selected four major contexts for discussion in this paper: (i) sociocultural, (ii) public policy/financing/regulation, (iii) nursing/professional and (iv) organisational. For each context, we provide a brief description, literature and examples from a few countries attending the conference, potential impact on personhood-focused practices and RN strategies to facilitate personhood-focused care. The knowledge gained from attending to the influence of contextual factors on the RN's role in facilitating personhood-focused practices provides critical insights and directions for interventions aimed to maximise RN role effectiveness in LTC. In practice, understanding linkages between the various contexts offers indispensable insight for LTC nurse leaders charged with managing day-to-day operations and leading quality improvement initiatives that promote personhood-focused practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-302
Number of pages8
JournalInternational journal of older people nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Long-term care
  • Nursing
  • Personhood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology


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