Handover in Nursing: A Concept Analysis

Eun Jung Kim, Gyeong Ae Seomun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Purpose: The broad use of the term handover to describe any activity involving the transfer of professional responsibility from one person to another has led to an ambiguous understanding. Recently, handover has become a process central to the delivery of high-quality and safe patient care. The aim of this analysis was to clarify the concept of handover within the context of nursing practice. Methods: Rodgers's evolutionary approach was used as the analysis method along with some aspects of the dimensional analysis guided by Caron and Bowers, to understand the perspectives of senders and receivers. Results: The analysis revealed four attributes of handover: transfer of information, interaction for disambiguation, process, and strategy. Handover is defined as a process for transferring responsibility from sender to receiver through communication through the transfer of information, the interaction for disambiguation, and the context-sensitive strategy for accomplishing the continuity and safety of patient care. The salient dimension of handover was process, and the sub-dimensions were transfer of information, interaction for disambiguation, and strategy. From the sender's perspectives, it is the process of transferring information organized by the sender, and from the receiver's perspective, handover is the process establishing care plan through interactive strategy. Implications for Practice: The definition and identified attributes serve as a heuristic for designing strategies and further developing the construct of handover in nursing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-320
Number of pages24
JournalResearch and Theory for Nursing Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • concept analysis
  • dimensional
  • evolutionary
  • handover
  • nursing practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Research and Theory


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