Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Social Welfare

Content Description

1 online resource (xi, 203 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Anne E. Fortune

Committee Members

Phillip McCallion, Julie Novkov


autonomy, certified nurse assistant, frailty, nursing home, nursing home resident, preferences, Nursing home patients, Autonomy (Psychology) in old age, Frail elderly

Subject Categories

Nursing | Social Work


This qualitative cross-sectional study examines autonomy among long-term care residents and how certified nurse aides (CNAs) understand resident autonomy as expressed through residents' preferences. The study took place at one long-term care facility with N = 12 (7 residents and 5 CNAs). A phenomenological perspective is utilized in order to describe the meaning residents ascribe to personal preferences and the influence frailty has on those preferences. In addition, certified nurse aides, self-described as competent to report on a participating resident's preferences were interviewed separately. Open-ended interviews were conducted and the data obtained was examined for congruence between the resident's and CNA's perception of resident autonomy. Congruence and incongruence was examined as well within the individual resident interviews and within dyads.