The caring encounter in nursing

Gunilla Holopainen, Lisbet Nyström, A Kasen

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

55 Citeringar (Scopus)


Background: The concept 'encounter' occurs in caring literature as a synonym for dialogue and relation describing deeper levels of interaction between patient and nurse. In nursing and caring research, the concept 'caring encounter' is often used without further reflection on the meaning of the concept. Encounters are, however, continuously taking place in the world of caring, which calls for a clarification of the concept. Objectives: This study is an analysis of the concept of caring encounter in nursing from the patients' and nurses' point of view. Method: Rodgers' evolutionary view guided the concept analysis within the theoretical perspective of caritative caring. Data sources: Peer-reviewed articles in English published between 1990 and 2014 were retrieved from the databases: CINAHL, PubMed, Web of Science, ScienceDirect (Elsevier), Springer Link, Primo Central (Ex Libris) and Academic Search Premier (EBSCO) using different combinations of encounter, caring and nursing as keywords. In all, 28 articles related to caring encounters were included in the analysis after applying inclusion and exclusion criteria. Ethical considerations: This study was conducted according to good scientific practice. Results: Four antecedents to the caring encounter are found in the nurse's way of being: a reflective way of being; openness, sensitivity, empathy and ability to communicate; confidence, courage and professionalism; and showing respect and supporting dignity. The attributes are as follows: being there, uniqueness and mutuality. As a consequence, the caring encounter influences both patient and nurse. Discussion and conclusion: The caring encounter is an encounter between two equal persons where one is nurse and the other is patient. They encounter in mutuality, in true presence, and both have allowed themselves to be the person they are. The results clarify the conceptual differences between relationship and caring communion as the mutuality in the caring encounter differs from the dependence on the other pronounced in the relationship.
Sidor (från-till)7–16
Antal sidor10
TidskriftNursing Ethics
StatusPublicerad - 2019
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • Caring encounter
  • theory of caritative caring
  • Concept analysis

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