The Seriously Mentally Ill Older Adult: Perceptions of the Patient–Provider Relationship


  • Rebecca Schroeder DNP, MPH, PMHNP-BC

    Corresponding author
    1. Rebecca Schroeder, DNP, MPH, PMHNP-BC, is Psychiatric Nurse Specialist, Winchester Hospital, Winchester, Massachusetts, USA, and Associate Professor, Regis College, School of Nursing, Science and Health Professions, Weston, Massachusetts, USA
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  • Conflict of Interest Statement: The authors report no actual or potential conflicts of interest., with a copy to the Editor:


PURPOSE:  The purpose of this study was to give voice to the lived experiences of older adults with serious mental illness and their perceptions of the healthcare provider relationship.

DESIGN AND METHODS:  A qualitative phenomenological research design was used. In-depth interviews were conducted with eight members of a mental health clubhouse.

FINDINGS:  Study themes revealed not only elements of goodwill toward providers but also elements of concern about the reliability and quality of healthcare provider relationships. Findings provided theoretical support for using Peplauian approaches in clinical practice.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:  Partnering with patients, utilizing peer support networks, and placing a broader emphasis on the recovery model should be explored.