Respecting the privacy of hospitalized patients: an integrative review

Taybeh Tehranii, Sadat Maddah, Masoud Fallahi-khoshknab, Abbas Ebadi, Farahnaz Mohammadi Shahboulaghi, Mark Gillespie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
267 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Privacy is a complicated and obscure concept, which has special meanings in the healthcare environment; therefore, it is essential for healthcare providers to fully understand this concept. However, there is no universally accepted definition for this concept in the texts, and it has been interpreted
differently, based on its application.

Aim: To analyze and provide a clear and scientific definition for respect of privacy of hospitalized patients and identify the common aspects of this concept.

Research design: This study was conducted using the Whittemore and Knafl’s modified framework as a conceptual analysis method.

Ethical consideration: This study was approved by the Research Council of the University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences. We have respected the ethical requirements required regarding the sources and authorship.

Research context and data sources: Using integrative review, a search was performed using national and international databases, including CINAHL, Scopus, Medline, Web of Science, and ISI (with no date restriction). The keywords employed during the search process were “privacy of patients,” “confidentiality,” “and patients’ rights.” In total, 1345 articles were retrieved from the databases. After the elimination of repetitive studies and with regard to the study objectives, 124 articles, 3 books, and 4 theses were entered into the study. The data were analyzed using the conventional content analysis approach.

Findings: The results were extracted in the form of four, seven, and two themes related to attributes such as physical, informational, social, and psychological and the antecedents and consequences of respecting patient privacy, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalNursing Ethics
Early online date20 Mar 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Mar 2018


  • Hospitalization
  • privacy
  • patients
  • integrative review


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