• nursing homes;
  • nurse–patient relationships;
  • nurse–patient interactions;
  • thriving;
  • well-being


The purpose of this study was to describe nursing home residents' experiences and perceptions of relationships with caregivers and to explore their importance to thriving. Data were collected through field observations and open-ended interviews with 26 residents. Receiving appropriate care from kind caregivers made life easier for all residents but contributed to thriving only for some. One group of residents emphasized personal relationships to individual caregivers as essential to thriving. A second group reported that non-personal relationships contributed to thriving. A third group preferred distant relationships to the caregivers but reported thriving as well. Personal relationships to individual caregivers were not essential to thriving for all residents. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 28: 365–375, 2005.