Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 7-27-1964


The problem of this study was to gain information about the bad patient and how the nurse perceives this individual. The information studied was: (1) the nurse's perceptions of the bad patient, (2) the patient's perceptions of himself, and (3) the nurse's and patients perceptions of the ideal patient. The instrument developed to obtain data was a Q-sort. Literature pertaining to the bad and ideal patient was utilized in the development of the fifty items in the sort. Ten patients and thirteen nurses performed the sorts requested. The data obtained from the sorts were converted into mean scores for the individual items and a Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient was used to determine statistically the strength of agreement between the mean ratings for each pair of the sorts. It was concluded that both nurses and patients see the ideal patient similarly and the patient sees himself like the ideal patient. Nurses indicated they perceived the bad patient differently than they did the ideal patient although they had some understanding of the feelings of the bad patient. The patient saw himself significantly closer to the ideal patient than did the nurse. It was also concluded that the patients identified as bad also had a diagnosis of a chronic illness and had prior opportunity through previous hospital admissions to become familiar with the patient role.