Disclosure predicaments arising during the course of patient care: Nurses' privacy management

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At times, nurses receive patient disclosures that have the potential to create challenges resulting in needs for strategies to manage patient information and expectations. This study examines disclosure predicaments nurses experience in critical care and emergency units at a large urban hospital. Utilizing the constant comparative method to identify disclosure themes guided by the principles of communication privacy management (CPM), the findings show that nurses regulate patient privacy in the role of stakeholder confidants. Second, disclosure predicaments occur in three different contexts: during the course of nurses' professional routine; when the nurses created safe terminals or havens for patients to talk; and when family matters became an inseparable part of caring for the patient. Third, the results indicate that there are several specific strategies that nurses use to manage disclosure predicaments they encounter. The lens of CPM is used to interpret these findings and offers a context in which to better understand the needs of nurses concerning patient disclosive behavior and privacy issues for nurses. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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Health Communication

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