Patients’ Role in Their Own Safety—A Systematic Review of Patient Involvement in Safety


It is necessary to evaluate progress in the area of patient safety. However, although there has been an increase in number of quality and safety related studies have increased, the topics of patient involvement and patient safety are not automatically linked. The aim of this systematic review was to identify and evaluate the evidence contributed by studies of patient involvement in the provision of safe care. Inclusion criteria were studies undertaken to promote involvement in safety, covering patients’ attitudes, unsafe and safe care, risk reduction and handover practices during discharge from hospital to primary care. The results revealed three themes: satisfaction with and need for knowledge about healthcare and the health system, sharing responsibility and accountability for safety and the need to overcome language barriers to prevent harm and error. In conclusion, there is an increased focus on the role of the patient in the provision of safe care. Existing evidence is related to medication rather than patients’ capability and willingness to be involved. It is recommended that patient participation in the provision of safe care should be explored in relation to phenomena such as trust, responsibility, shared decision-making and powerlessness. It is also important to investigate the patient’s role with respect to patient rights.

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Severinsson, E. and Holm, A. (2015) Patients’ Role in Their Own Safety—A Systematic Review of Patient Involvement in Safety. Open Journal of Nursing, 5, 642-653. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2015.57068.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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