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  1. Loft, Maureen
  2. McWilliam, Carol
  3. Ward-Griffin, Catherine


Purpose: This research was designed to gain an enhanced understanding of empowerment within in-home care relationships after hospital discharge of elderly patients who had undergone total hip or total knee replacement.


Method: An interpretive phenomenology method was used.


Sample: Nine participants were interviewed on audiotape, guided by a semistructured interview guide. Five themes emerged centering on a strong desire to maintain independence. Overall, participants experienced disempowered relationships with professional in-home care providers and a more equitable empowered relationship with nonprofessional care providers.


Conclusion: Disempowered relationships with professional personnel were not identified as a dissatisfier to most participants. Rather, patients expressed deference to the traditional expert model of healthcare. Further investigation is needed to understand the effect of empowerment on client satisfaction and clinical outcomes.