Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2015

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Raelene Shippee-Rice

Second Advisor

Carol Williams-Barnard


While it may be seemingly obvious, there is very little data on patient perceptions of bedpan use. In order to create a better bedpan, there needs to be evidence as to why it is necessary. The objective of this study is to explore patient experiences of bedpan use in order to define their perceptions of comfort levels. The literature shows that patients are physically and emotionally uncomfortable when using the bedpan, find the device unpleasant, and are not receiving the necessary levels of education and compassion from their care staff. A mixed methods study using a descriptive quantitative design was developed to further explore the patient experience of using a bedpan. A convenience sample of 50 participants in acute and long term care settings completed an interview tool developed by the researchers. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze frequencies and Chi square analysis was used to define statistically significant relationships. Patients identified major problems with physical, psychosocial, sociocultural, and environmental aspects of bedpan us, with frequent report of discomfort, embarrassment, improper positioning, and adverse device characteristics. Patients are experiencing unnecessary pain and are at risk for infection and constipation due to discomfort and embarrassment. Redesigning the bedpan will be integral to improving patient experiences.

Included in

Nursing Commons