Attitudes of registered nurses towards the suicidal patient

Update item information
Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Nursing
Department Nursing
Author Davis, Carol Elizabeth Egli
Title Attitudes of registered nurses towards the suicidal patient
Date 1964-06
Description The present study was designed to explore the positive and negative attitudes of registered nurses toward the suicidal, the alcoholic, and the schizophrenic patient. The attitudes of the nurse are of special importance because she generally has the most intimate and daily contact with the patient and in terms of time alone has the opportunity for the most significant interaction with the patient. The nurses' attitude toward the patient with suicidal tendencies may retard or contribute to his recovery. The presence of fear and anxiety may impede development of positive attitudes and this fear may interfere with the nurses' ability to provide adequate nursing care. If nurse could understand the feelings expressed by their patients and the motivations behind patient' behavior, not only would they feel more comfortable in these situations, but also a real contribution to patient care and recovery would result. A review of literature has failed to reveal any specific studies on the attitudes of nurses' towards suicidal patients. Several studies have indicated the importance of attitudes of nursing personnel towards the type of care which any patient receives. One study in particular demonstrated negative and prejudiced attitudes towards the alcoholic patient, and the other test indicated negative reaction to all mentally disturbed patients. It is clear from the literature that the attitudes of the nurse in care for any patient are an extremely important factor and it is reflected in her relationship with the patient. The Semantic Differential Scale was administered to 52 registered nurses for six general hospitals and one psychiatric hospital in Utah and Idaho. The scale consisted of 25 bi-polar adjectives which evaluated are as follows: (1) suicidal patient, (2) alcoholic patient, and (3) schizophrenic patient. These were chosen as they seem to be stereotyped into certain categories by the general public and the nursing profession. The statistical analysis was carried out in order to test the following hypotheses: (1) nurses will have more negative than positive attitudes towards the suicidal patient, and (2) nurses will have more negative than positive attitudes towards the alcoholic and schizophrenic patient. Correlations were computed to test the relationship between the three tests. With 51 degrees of freedom a correlation .27 is necessary to be significant at the .05 level of confidence. The correlation between the suicidal patient and the schizophrenic patient was found to be .76. The correlation between the alcoholic patient and the suicidal patient was .77. The correlation between the alcoholic patient and the schizophrenic patient was .71. The correlation between the three tests indicates a high relationship. The t test between attitudes scores for the suicidal patient and the schizophrenic patient was 2.11 which were significant at the .05 level of confidence. The hypothesis that there would be more negative than positive attitudes towards the suicidal patient and alcoholic patient; between alcoholic patient and schizophrenic patient did not reach the .05 level of confident; hence the differences were not statistically significant. However, the t of 1.83 between alcoholic patient and the schizophrenic patient approached the .05 level of confidence. There was no apparent relationship between the scores on the suicidal patient, the length of time working on a psychiatric unit, or the amount of education. There were more neutral responses from the registered nurses toward the suicidal patient than positive or negative responses. One factor which may be responsible for the neutral position is that the nurse many be unable to admit certain kinds of attitudes. He may be fearful that others will be critical or punitive and that be also has to maintain a certain kind of attitude to maintain his own self respect. Another factor may ne that the Semantic Scale does not measure attitudes in an indirect manner. That is, the subjects may recognized that there was a positive and negative evaluation to some of the bi-polar objectives.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Psychiatric Nursing; Nurse-Patient Relations
Subject MESH Nurses; Suicide
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name MS
Language eng
Relation is Version of Digital reproduction of "Attitudes of registered nurses towards the suicidal patient". Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library. Print version of "Attitudes of registered nurses towards the suicidal patient.". available at J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collection. RT2.5 1964 .D38.
Rights Management © Leola Logan Davidson.
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 940,108 bytes
Identifier undthes,4211
Source Original: University of Utah Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (no longer available)
Master File Extent 940,124 bytes
ARK ark:/87278/s61z4648
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2012-04-24
Date Modified 2012-04-24
ID 190443
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s61z4648