Nurse-Patient Interaction: A Resource for Hope in Cognitively Intact Nursing Home Patients

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Abstract

Background:

Nursing home care increasingly targets those elderly with the greatest needs in terms of personal daily activities, whereas services supporting spiritual needs such as hope tend to be ignored. Hope is seen to be a dynamic life force vital to well-being. Nursing home patients are frail, vulnerable, and dependent, which may lead to their hope being intimately related to the nurse-patient interaction.

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between nurse-patient interaction and hope among cognitively intact nursing home patients.

Design and method:

Cross-sectional data were obtained by means of one-on-one interviews; 202 cognitively intact nursinghome patients representing 44 Norwegian nursing homes responded to the Herth Hope Index and the Nurse-Patient Interaction Scale. The hypothesized relationships between a two-factor construct of hope and nurse-patient interaction were assessed by means of structural equation modelling.

Results:

The structural equation model revealed a good fit to the data, showing significant influence of nurse-patient interaction on nursing home patients' level of hope.

Conclusion and implications:

Nurse-patient interaction significantly influences hope in cognitively intact nursing home patients. Offering connectedness should be a central and integral aspect of holistic nursing home care. Providing continuing educational programs for caregivers focusing on how to interact with patients in a health-promoting and hopeful manner seems essential.

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