Concept Analysis: Lack of Anonymity

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AIM: To re-examine and expand understanding of the concept 'lack of anonymity' as a component of rural nursing theory. BACKGROUND: Early healthcare literature reports lack of anonymity as part of social and working environments, particularly rural nursing. Rural nursing theory included the first published concept analysis on lack of anonymity but lacked empirical referents. Workforce, societal and rural healthcare changes support an updated analysis. To further understand lack of anonymity, its present day use and applicability to diverse environments, research from multiple disciplines was reviewed. DESIGN: Concept analysis. DATA SOURCES: A literature search using eight terms in eleven databases was conducted of literature published between 2008-2013. METHOD: Walker and Avant's concept analysis methodology guided the analysis. RESULTS: The previous concept analysis is supported in part by current literature. The defining attributes, 'identifiable', 'establishing boundaries for public and private self and interconnectedness' in a community were updated. Updated antecedents include: (i) environmental context; (ii) opportunities to become visible; (iii) developing relationships and (iv) unconscious or limited awareness of public or personal privacy. Consequences are: (i) familiarity; (ii) visibility; (iii) awareness of privacy and (iv) manage or balance of lack of anonymity. Cases were constructed and empirical referents identified. CONCLUSION: The concept of lack of anonymity was updated; portions of the original definition remain unchanged. Empirical referents reveal the defining attributes in daily life and may guide future research on the effect of lack of anonymity on nursing practice. This analysis advances the conceptual understanding of rural nursing theory.

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Journal of Advanced Nursing





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