Nurse-patient interaction: a review of the literature

J Clin Nurs. 2004 Sep;13(6):714-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2004.00965.x.


Aims: The aims of this paper are to review a theoretical model useful for developing nursing knowledge related to nurse-patient interaction, review the literature on nurse-patient interaction, and discuss areas for further research. THEORETICAL MODEL: Goffman's theory of face work.

Results: Nurse-patient interaction is a central element of clinical nursing practice. This paper shows how Goffman's model can be used as a theoretical framework for understanding nurse-patient communication.

Relevance to clinical practice: Issues such as power, the social and cultural context, and interpersonal competence are shown to be important in the quality of nurse-patient interactions and nurses need to take cognizance of these factors in their interactions with patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Humans
  • Nurse-Patient Relations*
  • Psychological Theory
  • Social Perception