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Keywords:

  • nursing;
  • caring;
  • nursing homes;
  • older people;
  • personal construct theory;
  • repertory grid technique;
  • constructivism

Nursing care of older people: a personal construct theory perspective¶ This paper outlines the use of the repertory grid technique, with nurses caring for elderly residents, and residents of a nursing home. The method focuses on the individuality of each person’s attempt at making sense of her/his caring world. Previous papers have focused on a discussion of the repertory grid technique as a research method and tool for psychiatric nurses, an overview of studies using this technique with nurses and social workers, and applications of personal construct theory (from which the technique is derived) to nursing research. A paper by Rawlinson described content analysis of the role constructs elicited from the nurses. In this study, content analysis of caring constructs elicited by nurses and residents was also undertaken, and the results are presented. Additionally, principal component analysis of the repertory grids was carried out, and three examples are presented. This combined analysis provides an in-depth insight into nurses’ perceptions of caring for others; perceptions which guide their caring behaviours. This information can be used by individual nurses to review their caring practice.