Knowledge and Attitudes Towards Patients’ Rights Among Nurses in Two Selected Teaching Hospitals in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Introduction: Patients’ rights are one of the major components of human rights. As health professionals, nurses are bound to care for patients while safeguarding their rights. This study aimed to describe the knowledge and attitudes towards patients’ rights among nurses in two selected teaching hospitals in Sri Lanka. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among nurses from two selected teaching hospitals in Sri Lanka, using a pre-tested and self-administered questionnaire. Data analysis was carried out using SPSS version 26.0. Results: The response rate was 71.0% and 300 nurses participated in the study. The majority of the participants were from surgical wards (71.0%) and had less than six years of service (44.3%). Their mean overall knowledge regarding patients’ rights was 81.90±12.48. When considering the levels of knowledge, 67.7% had good (>75%), 31.7% had moderate (50-75%), and 1.0% had poor (<50%) levels. A good level of knowledge was evident by the responses received on the right to have respectful care (89.3%), right to maintain privacy (91.7%), and right to receive good quality health services (91.0%). However, 19.9% showed a poor level of knowledge regarding the right to obtain prior consent. The mean attitude score on patients’ rights was 31.21±0.25, and only 48.3% showed positive attitudes towards patients’ rights. Nurses’ overall knowledge levels were significantly associated with the current working unit in the hospital (p=0.015). Conclusion: A majority of the nurses had a good level of knowledge but showed negative attitudes towards patients’ rights. Therefore, continuing education programs for nurses should focus on improving their knowledge and attitudes towards patients’ rights to enhance the quality of care for patients.
Keywords: Attitudes, Knowledge, Nurses, Patients’ rights, Sri Lanka