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Table 2 Perspectives on terminology and conceptualisation of care (taking ‘drinking/hydration’ as an example)

From: Determining priorities for research to improve fundamental care on hospital wards


Who’s perspective?

Care giver

Care recipient

Goals/Objectives of care: activities of daily living that patients may require help with whilst in hospital

Maintain hydration

Have enough to drink

Action: the types of intervention undertaken by care providers (primarily nursing staff)

Assist with drinks, administer IV fluids

Be given drinks

Associated activity/resource to enable care need met

• Fluid balance charts/systems in place

• Organisation of responsibilities between staff (roles)

• Sufficient staff to ensure drinking assistance and fluid monitoring undertaken

• Routines-water jugs provided, drinks rounds, drinks placed in reach, suitable drinking aids

• Nurses know what I’ve drunk

• I know how to get drinks

• Range/choice of drinks available

• I’m given help when I need it to ensure I have enough drinks or other fluids

• I have sufficient access to drinks


Clinical outcomes/measures of successful hydration (and dehydration)

- Fluid in-balance

- Skin condition

Evidence/outcomes of poor hydration

- Increased risk of urinary tract infection

- Impaired cognitive function

Experience associated with hydration or dehydration:

- Thirst quenched/feel thirsty

- Comfort/pleasure eg. ‘enjoying nice cup of tea’