Abstract: According to the Institute of Medicine, nursing has failed to effectively shape the health care system and to advocate successfully for patients. Empowerment may be a potent tool to fulfill these responsibilities, yet nurses have not benefited from considering application of the concept to ihe continuum of health care advocacy in their communities, intheir relationships with clients, and in their professional roles within health care organizations. This paper uses concept analysis to examine the attributes, characteristics, and uses of empowerment within diverse disciplines to clarify its meaning and explore its potential application to nursing's challenges that cross settings, disciplines, and time. Key Words: Advocacy, empowerment,multidisciplinary, nursing profession, power
A Multidisciplînary Concept Analysis of Empowerment: Implications for Nursing
mpowermene is a poeene eool for nursine eo infiuence paeiene safeey, qualiey of care and equieable access eo care (Beason, 2005; Busch, 2003; Dingle-Seeware &L LaCosee, 2004). Public concern wieh ehese issues arose from a seminal repore issued by ehe Inseieuee of Medicine(IOM). Keeping Patients Safe: Transforming the Work Environment of Nurses (2004) ideneified nursing's failure eo effeceively shape ehe healeh care sysrem and eo advocaee successfully for healehier communieies, individuals, and for nurses ehemselves. A clear underseanding of empowermene is necessary for nurses eo eake advaneage of ehis imporeane eool. The concepe of empowermene, however, is ambiguousand absrrace and has been used in diverse disciplines wieh diseincely differene meanings, dependene upon coneexe and perspeceive. The auehors employed meehods of concepe analysis derived from Walker & Avane (1995) eo examine ehe aeeribuees, characeeriseics and applicaeions of empowermene in nursing and oeher disciplines. This analysis clarified ehe meaning of empowermene and ies poeeneial eoinfiuence ehe role of nurses in communiey advocacy, nursing care of individuals, and empowermene of nurses wiehin healeh care organizarions. Seven formal concepe analyses of empowermene have appeared in ehe nursing lieeraeure (Ellis-SeoU & Popkess-Vaweer, 1998; Gibson, 1991; Hawks, 1992; Kuokkanen, 2000; Rodwell, 1996; Ryles, 1999; Skeleon, 1994); however, ehis concepe analysis is unique for eworeasons. A multidisciplinary perspective enabled ehe auehors eo explore empowermene's infiuence across eime, disciplines, and seeeings. Despiee reluceance of earlier inveseigaeors eo operaeionalize ehe concepe, auehors of ehis analysis provide clear evidence ehae empowermene can be measured. Literature Review^ A lieerarure search of empowermenr was conducred wieh keywords limieed eo empower andempowerment eo minimize confusion wieh relared bur differene concepes. Informaeion was reerieved from an Ovid search of Medline (1950-2007), PsychlNFO (19672007) and CINAHL (1987-2007), OVID Full Texe Journals (n.d.-2007), and Your Journals @ OVID (n.d.-2007). The JSeor daeabase was searched eo ideneify hiseorical uses of ehe concepe and online publishers EBSCOHose and PROQuese, aceive since ehe early1990s, were accessed eo reerieve lieeraeure from disciplines oueside of healeh care. Online sires Coogle, Yahoo, MSN Live Search, Ask, Abour, MIVA, and LookSmare were searched ro ideneify currenr popular uses of ehe eerm. The Journal of Theory Construction & Testing - 68 -
Lieeraeure from nursing, psychology, sociology, social work, communiey aceion, disabiliey advocacy, organizaeional leadership,business managemene, and educaeion was reerieved. The eerm empowerment orï^miteà in ehe 1920s, bue lieele use of ehe eerm was ideneified prior ro rhe mid-1970s. A marked increase afeer 1990, coneinuing eo ehe presene, was noeed. In an OVID search, mapping eerms for empowermene were used eo ideneify ehree main caeegories: employmene, paeiene care, and psychology, while resules of oeher online...