Contextual factors affecting autonomy for patients in Iranian hospitals: A qualitative study

Hossein Ebrahimi, Efat Sagedhian, Naiemeh Seyedfatemi, Eesa Mohammadi Mohammadi, Maureen Crowley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Consideration of patient autonomy is an essential element in individualized, patient-­centered, ethical care. Internal and external factors associated with patient autonomy are related to culture and it is not clear what they are in Iran. The aim of this study was to explore contextual factors affecting the autonomy of patients in Iranian hospitals.

Materials and Methods: This was a qualitative study using conventional content analysis methods. Thirty-­four participants (23 patients; 9 nurses'; 2 doctors) from three Iranian teaching hospitals, selected using purposive sampling, participated in semi-structured interviews. Unstructured observation and field notes were other methods for data collection. The data were subjected to qualitative content analysis and analysed using the MAXQDA-10 software.

Results: Five categories and 16 sub-categories were identified. The five main categories related to patients autonomy were:Intrapersonal factors, physical health status, supportive family and friends, communication style, and organizational constraints.

Conclusions: In summary, this study uncovered contextual factors that the care team, managers, and planners in the health field should target in order to improve patient autonomy in Iranian hospitals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261- 270
Number of pages10
JournalIranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • Autonomy
  • Chronic Disease
  • Hospitals
  • in-patients
  • Iran
  • nursing ethics
  • patient
  • personal autonomy
  • Qualitative Research
  • qualitative study


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