Meaningful Text: Total Hip Replacement Patients’ Lived Experience of a Nursing Care Plan Written in Lay Language

The Open Nursing Journal 31 December 2020 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874434602014010325



Person-centred care involves respecting patients’ experiences, preferences, and needs, as well as sharing information with them and involving them in care planning. Scant research has been conducted on how it influences patients to have direct access to their care planning when it has been established through the use of standardised care plans or pathways. In the orthopaedic ward in which this study was conducted, a standardised nursing care plan for total hip replacement patients (THR), which was originally written in professional language, was rewritten in lay language and used as peri-operative teaching material for this patient group.

Study Aim:

To explore the meaning THR patients ascribe to the lived experience of reading and retaining their standardised nursing care plan in lay language during their hospital stay.


The data collection and analysis followed a method adapted by the Vancouver School of Doing Phenomenology. Data were collected through 12 in-depth interviews with six THR patients.


The main finding was that the participants acquired knowledge from the text of the care plan that was understandable and meaningful, as evidenced by the empowering impact it had on them. This impact included improved psychological wellbeing, more open communication, and the provision of a tool to keep track of care. Some revisions of the care plan were recommended.


The study suggests that a patient version of standardised care plans can act as an important educational tool for THR patients that can empower them to manage their health situations.

Keywords: Nursing care plan, Person-centred care, Phenomenology, Empowerment, Total hip replacement, Patient education.
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