Gender influences on caring, dignity and well-being in older person care: A systematic literature review and thematic synthesis

Lamprini M. Xiarchi*, Kristina Nässén, Lina Palmér, Fiona Cowdell, Elisabeth Lindberg

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (SciVal)


    Globally, healthcare has become dominated by women nurses. Gender is also known to impact the way people are cared for in various healthcare systems. Considering gender from the perspective of how lived bodies are positioned through the structural relations of institutions and processes, this systematic review aims to explore the meaning of gender in the caring relationship between the nurse and the older person through a synthesis of available empirical data published from 1993 to 2022. CINAHL, PUBMED, EMBASE, and Web of Science were searched from the beginning of each database’s temporal range, and PRISMA guidelines were used for the screening, reviewing, and selection processes of available records. A thematic synthesis of the available data resulted in three analytical themes: i) vulnerability of the gendered body, ii) norms and values related to gender and sexuality, and iii) balancing closeness and distance in the nurse-patient relationship. These themes are intertwined and represent different aspects of gender meaning in the nurse–patient relationship. This research shows that gender, through its influence on the gendered body, its relationship with power dynamics in the caring process, and its intersection with dimensions of identity, has a significant meaning for the experienced vulnerability in the nurse–patient relationship. This has implications for the well-being and sense of dignity of the older person as well as the nurse.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalNursing Philosophy
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 30 Oct 2023


    This project has received funding from the European Union's H2020‐MSCA‐ITN‐2018 programme under grant agreement No 813928.

    FundersFunder number
    European Commission813928


      • Nurses
      • older people
      • patients
      • relationships
      • gender
      • qualitative research methods


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