Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 1-18-1965


The problem of this study was to discover what interactions were considered of value to psychiatric patients as these interactions were perceived by psychiatric nursing personnel and psychiatric patients. The research method used was the exploratory or formulative study. Data were obtained by the use of the Q-sort technique as the instrument of preference for this study. Nursing literature provided the background necessary to develop the fifty-five statements utilized in developing the Q-sort. The categories of feelings, congruency, hospital culture, availability, and limit-setting emerged in the formulation of the statements. These categories identified various aspects of nurse-patient interactions in this study. Thirty-one nurses and thirty patients performed the Q-sort. Placements regarding each item’ s value were noted. Correlation coefficients were calculated in order to obtain intergroup comparisons of the interactions delineated within this study. It was concluded that those interactions identified by their high correlations indicated the least valuable aspects of this dyad. They also indicated that these less valuable interactions were operative within this relationship. Conversely, those interactions which achieved lower correlations were identified as having value but which were not being realized in actual practice. The Q-sort also revealed that nurses were functioning predominantly in their traditional role. It was also concluded that psychiatric patients could participate adequately in completing the Q-sort. Recommendations were made which encouraged further investigation of the categories used in this study. Further investigation was urged of the variables in hospitals such as mentioned in this study, which would influence the nurse’ s interactions with the patient.