Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 9-3-1959


The purpose of this study was to identify the nursing staff behaviors that were judged effective in helping the relatives. The critical incident technique was the research method chosen for this study. Twenty-nine relatives of hospitalized patients were interviewed in a state psychiatric hospital. A total of fifty-four incidents were derived describing the behaviors of the nursing staff. These behavioral incidents were tabulated to form a list of critical requirements of the nursing staff. The categorization of data revealed that the behavioral incidents fell into four major areas. Category I: A. Therapeutic Role, B. Giving of Information, Category II: A. Therapeutic Results, B. Informative Results. Category I describes what the nursing staff did that was effective. These behaviors were divided as follows: thirty-three were in therapeutic role and twenty-one were in the giving of information. Category II pertained to the relative's interpretation of how a particular behavior was of help to them. The behaviors were divided as follows: forty-four were in therapeutic results and ten were in informative results. The results of this study indicate that the nursing staff does help the relatives of the hospitalized patient. This role of the nursing staff is important in increasing the relatives' understanding of the patient.