Nurse-patient relationship: A dichotomy of expectations
The nurse-patient relationship has traditionally been viewed as the essence of nursing practice. This paper disputes that the ideals of such a relationship occur effortlessly in nursing practice. Findings from a phenomenological study of individuals hospitalized with a depressive illness found that a therapeutic relationship did not come instinctively to the mental health nurses, and that there was a dichotomy between the close relationship expected by patients and the distant relationship provided by nurses. It is unclear whether nurses' distancing behaviour was as a result of the participant's depressive illness, a normal part of nursing practice, or whether other features such as nurses' workloads were an influencing factor. Further research is required to explore this issue.
International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
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