The relationship between nurse–patient interaction and meaning-in-life in cognitively intact nursing home patients

Authors

  • Gørill Haugan PhD RN

    Associate Professor, Corresponding author
    1. Faculty of Nursing, Research Centre for Health Promotion and Resources, HIST & NTNU, Sør-Trøndelag University College, Trondheim, Norway
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Aim

To investigate the associations between nurse–patient interaction and meaning-in-life in a nursing home population.

Background

Meaning has been found to be a strong individual predictor of successful ageing and life satisfaction as well as an important psychological variable that promotes well-being. Meaning seems to serve as a mediating variable in both psychological and physical health. Connecting and communicating with others have been seen to facilitate meaning-in-life among older individuals.

Design

Cross-sectional descriptive study.

Methods

The data were collected in 2008–2009 using the Nurse–Patient Interaction Scale and the Purpose-in-Life test. A total of 250 cognitively intact nursing home patients met the inclusion criteria and 202 (81%) participated. A structural equation model of the hypothesized relationship between nurse–patient interaction and meaning was tested by means of LISREL 8.8.

Findings

The structural equation model fit well with the data. A significant direct relationship between nurse–patient interaction and meaning-in-life in cognitively intact nursing home patients was displayed.

Conclusion

Nurse–patient interaction significantly relates to meaning and purpose-in-life among cognitively intact nursing home patients and might be an important resource in relation to the patient's mental health and global well-being. High-quality nurse–patient interaction and in-house activities aiming to increase patients’ meaning might increase psychological and physical health, well-being and psycho-spiritual functioning in this vulnerable population.

Ancillary