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A Grounded Theory Study of Action/Interaction Strategies Used When Taiwanese Families Provide Care for Formerly Suicidal Patients


Fan-Ko Sun, Department of Nursing, I-Shou University, No.8, Yida Rd., Yanchao Township, Kaohsiung County 82445, Taiwan. E-mail:


ABSTRACT Objectives: There is a dearth of evidence on the care that families provide to their relatives after they have been discharged from hospital following an attempted suicide.

The aim of this study was to explore ex-patients' and family caregivers' perceptions of the care provided at home following hospital discharge.

Design and Sample: A qualitative approach using Grounded Theory was adopted. Suicidal ex-patients (n=15) and family caregivers (n=15) were contacted in the south of Taiwan.

Measures: Data were collected through interviews and the data were analyzed using open, axial, and selective coding.

Results: A substantive theory was developed from the findings. However, for the purpose of this paper, the section of the paradigm model named the action/interaction strategies is presented and discussed. Three categories emerged in the action/interaction section relating to the family care of relatives who had been suicidal. They were: (1) “guarding the person day and night,” which helped to ensure that their relatives felt safe; (2) “maintaining the activities of daily living,” which promoted their physical health and recovery; and (3) “creating a nurturing environment,” which facilitated their mental and emotional healing.

Conclusions: Public health nurses could use the findings of this study as a theoretical map when providing health information to family caregivers during home visits.