Three different ways mental health nurses develop quality therapeutic relationships

Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2009 Jan;30(1):14-22. doi: 10.1080/01612840802500691.


The purpose of this study was to determine if there were different ways in which mental health nurses develop quality therapeutic relationships with patients. A taxonomy of 140 attributes were identified as important to the formation of a quality therapeutic relationship in mental health nursing. These attributes provided the basis for the development of a Q-sort instrument, which was piloted. Results led to the identification of three clusters of mental health nurses who share similar beliefs regarding the attributes required to develop a quality therapeutic relationship with patients. These groupings of attributes were called "Equal Partner," "Senior Partner," and "Protective Partner." Recommendations are provided and include that nurses consider their nursing style in their choice of employment environment and that managers consider their nurses' individual styles in determination of an optimal case mix.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Empathy
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Nursing*
  • Nurse's Role / psychology*
  • Nurse-Patient Relations*
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Process / organization & administration
  • Nursing Staff / education
  • Nursing Staff / organization & administration
  • Nursing Staff / psychology*
  • Philosophy, Nursing
  • Psychiatric Nursing / education
  • Psychiatric Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Q-Sort
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Queensland
  • Self-Assessment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires