- Research in Gerontological Nursing
- January 2012 - Volume 5 · Issue 1: 43-54
This study explored the quality of certified nurse assistant (CNA)-resident relationships. Of interest was the extent to which interdependence theory could be used to code CNAs’ responses to questions about their relationships with residents and factors that promoted or limited these relationships. Interdependence theory defines closeness in terms of outcome interdependence and provides an account of how trust and commitment can develop. Seventeen socially skilled CNAs from nine long-term care facilities participated in structured personal interviews. All of the CNAs said they had developed close relationships with some residents. CNAs’ answers to interview questions indicated they were thinking “relationally” about their interactions with residents. Many CNAs made reference to commitment and pro-relationship behaviors that promoted relationships, and their responses supported the applicability of interdependence theory. Implications for training are that CNAs should be encouraged to think relationally, as well as dispositionally, and that boundary issues need to be explored.
Dr. Medvene is Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, Wichita State University, Wichita, and Dr. Coleman is Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Kansas School of Nursing, Kansas City, Kansas.
The authors disclose that they have no significant financial interests in any product or class of products discussed directly or indirectly in this activity. This project was funded by a grant from the Wichita State University LINK project and by matching funding from Larksfield Place. The authors thank the following long-term care facilities for their support and cooperation with this project: Andover Court Assisted Living, Comfort Care Homes, Friendly Acres, Halstead Place, Kansas Masonic Home, Larksfield Place, The Vine at Derby, Park West Plaza, and Riverside Village.
Address correspondence to Louis J. Medvene, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, Wichita State University, Box 34, 1845 Fairmount, Wichita, KS 67260-0034; e-mail: Louis.Medvene@wichita.edu.
Received: March 05, 2010
Accepted: November 12, 2010
Posted Online: April 13, 2011