Examining Peplau's Pattern Integrations in Long-Term Care


  • Penny Schafer MN BSN RPN RN,

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Penny Schafer is a group coordinator for the Aggressive Behavior Control Program at the Regional Psychiatric Centre (Prairies) in Saskatoon, SK, Canada. Her research has examined therapeutic relationships and therapeutic boundary maintenance.

  • Joan Middleton MN BSN RN

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Joan Middleton is a clinical nurse specialist at Parkridge Centre in Saskatoon. She has worked in long-term care and education for 20 years. Her specialty areas are behavior management and mental health nursing. Her major research is on pain in the communicatively impaired elderly.

327 Eastman Cove, Saskatoon, SK S7N 4L1, Canada or e-mail p.schafer@sk.sympatico.ca.


Contrary to the societal view that only the frail elderly reside in long-term care facilities, many young adults who require residential care to maintain optimal health, or who are in a rehabilitation program, also live in these facilities. The relationships between residents and caregivers in long-term care facilities may develop into relationships that are more typically familial than professional. With these emerging familylike relationships, the interpersonal pattern interactions may be healthy or unhealthy and may create opportunities for growth or pathology-producing patterns. This article illustrates how applying Peplau's concept of need-pattern integrations in the long-term care setting has the potential to enhance understanding, and subsequently guide interactions, between younger residents and caregivers. The potential is greatest when interactions are guided.