The dignity of burn patients: a qualitative descriptive study of nurses, family caregivers, and patients

Banafsheh Tehranineshat, Mahnaz Rakhshan*, Camellia Torabizadeh, Mohammad Fararouei, Mark Gillespie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Background: As an ethical principle, showing respect for human dignity is a professional duty of all nurses. The aggressive nature of severe burn injuries makes it hard to respect the existential values and dignity of burn patients. However, only a few studies have been conducted on the preservation of the dignity of burn patients. The purpose of this study is to identify and describe burn patients’ dignity as perceived by nurses, family caregivers, and burn patients.

Methods: The present study has a descriptive, qualitative research design. Nurses, family caregivers and patients in the biggest burns hospital in the south of Iran were selected via purposeful sampling from October 2017 to August 2018 (n = 25). Data were collected using semi-structured, in-depth, individual interviews. Thereafter, data analysis was performed through conventional content analysis.

Results: Three main themes were extracted from the information obtained in the interviews: empathic communication, showing respect, and providing comprehensive support.

Conclusion: The care provided to burn patients should be combined with effective communication, spending time with them, and attending to their repetitive requests, so that they can freely express their feelings and concerns. In addition, the patients’ human values and beliefs should be respected and all aspects of their existence should be taken into account to preserve their dignity. Workshops designed based on the findings of the present study can help with improving the quality of burn nursing care.
Original languageEnglish
Article number205
Number of pages13
JournalBMC Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2021


  • burns
  • patients
  • human dignity
  • respect
  • nursing
  • family caregivers
  • qualitative research


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