Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-27-1961


This study utilizing the pretest-posttest experimental design was conducted in one psychiatric hospital. The purposes of the study were to evaluate the effectiveness of non-directive small group discussions as a method of learning therapeutic interpersonal skills, and to devise a questionnaire which would measure these skills. Eight graduate staff nurses were matched and placed into two groups designated as the Experimental and Control groups. The Experimental group participated in the experimental variable, nondirective group discussions. An open-end questionnaire, consisting of twelve situations, was constructed and administered as the pretest and the posttest. The two-part answers given were the nurses’ interpretations of the patients’ behaviors and their responses to the patients. Their responses were analyzed for the four interpersonal skills utilized. Before analysis of the data it was decided to delete the questionnaires of two matched participants because of one's incompleteness. Analysis of the data revealed a slight decrease in both groups' interpretations. In their therapeutic use of the interpersonal skills the Experimental group increased their abilities in three areas, especially in giving support, but decreased in limit-setting. The Control group remained constant in three areas, but markedly decreased in using supportive techniques. The questionnaire proved inadequate as the only evaluation of all the learning outcomes afforded by non-directive discussions.