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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Deborah Poling


Department of Nursing


Dignity, an ethical value, is a foundational block of professional nursing care. Within the healthcare system dignity can be threatened, promoted, gained, and/or lost. As medical advances have increased lifespans, individuals are now being confronted with an increased threat of age-related illnesses that can threaten personal dignity. Providing evidence-based, best-practice dignity preserving care can improve patient outcomes resulting in both a healthy and increased lifespan. In the quest to identify ways for improving the quality of patient care, the author developed the Dignity Preservation Model (DPM). The model was developed through analysis and application of two models: the Model of Dignity in Illness developed in 2013 by a group of researchers from the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and the Dignity Model developed by psychiatrist Donna Hicks in 2011. The Interpersonal Relations Theory published by a psychiatric nurse, Hildegard Peplau in 1952 was utilized as the theoretical framework for the DPM. While data is not available for the effectiveness of the DPM within a clinical setting to date, the model is grounded in nursing theory, utilizing evidence-based nursing measures for the improvement of patient care outside medical interventions. Gaining a deeper knowledge and understanding of dignity within the nurse-patient relationship can enrich the nursing care provided. Nursing professionals possibly lack a working knowledge of the concept and the DPM may serve as a tool to guide them in the preservation of patient dignity within the healthcare environment. Future research should focus on the effectiveness of the DPM within the clinical setting as a method of expanding best practice nursing knowledge from which best practice patient care can be realized.



Dignity: Impact in Human Interactions

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