Participation in patient care decision making among nurses in a Nigerian tertiary hospital

Tex-Jack Dokuba


Background: Nursing practice expects nurses’ to participate in patient care decision making processes with co-nurses (intra-professional) and other healthcare professional groups (inter-professional).

Aim: This study examined the participation of nurses in patient care decisions at University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, southern Nigeria.

Methodology: A cross-sectional design was on a sample of 163 respondents. Proportionate sampling technique was utilized for selecting respondents. Data was collected using a semi-structured Participation in Patient Care Decision Making (PPCDM) questionnaire. Data analysis was done using descriptive and inferential statistics at 5% level of significance with the aid of SPSS 21 software.

Results: The respondents had inadequate intra-professional (69.6%, criterion 70.0%) and inter-professional (37.4%) participation in patient care decisions. The overall participation was inadequate (53.5%). The perceived factors inhibiting participation of the respondents were non-supportive attitude of healthcare staff and respondents’ rank in healthcare service. The risk of non-participation in patient care decision making process was 276% greater in respondents aged 20-39 years, 171% greater in hospital-based nursing diploma holders, 93% greater in the junior ranks, 76% greater in respondents with years of experience ≤ 15 and 46% greater in males.

Conclusion: The respondents had inadequate intra and inter-professional participation in patient care decisions which was influenced by age, educational qualification, rank, years of nursing experience and gender. More continuing education on intra and inter professional collaboration for health care providers might remedy the identified situation.


Decision making, patient care, health personnel, hospital, Nigeria


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