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Keywords:

  • Providing structure;
  • use of structure;
  • limit setting;
  • nursing intervention;
  • psychiatric nursing;
  • restrictiveness

Purpose

The focus is on a nursing intervention called “providing structure” (PS). This label does not exist in the Nursing Interventions Classification. The following three questions were asked: (a) How is PS defined? (b) What are the goals of PS? and (c) What is the evidence regarding the effectiveness of PS?

Design and Method

A systematic literature review. Forty articles, predominantly qualitative studies of PS, were selected for review.

Findings

Regarding PS, three elements were mentioned: to impose and maintain rules and limits; to assess the condition of the patient; and to interact with the patient. The goals for PS related to patient security, making expectations explicit, and recovering from illness. Major findings were reviewed, but little was found about the effectiveness of PS.