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Enhancing adult therapeutic interpersonal relationships in the acute health care setting: an integrative review

Authors Kornhaber R, Walsh K, Duff J, Walker K

Received 11 July 2016

Accepted for publication 15 September 2016

Published 14 October 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 537—546


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Rachel Kornhaber,1 Kenneth Walsh,1,2 Jed Duff,1,3 Kim Walker1,3

1School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, University of Tasmania, Alexandria, NSW, 2Tasmanian Health Services – Southern Region, Hobart, TAS, 3St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Abstract: Therapeutic interpersonal relationships are the primary component of all health care interactions that facilitate the development of positive clinician–patient experiences. Therapeutic interpersonal relationships have the capacity to transform and enrich the patients’ experiences. Consequently, with an increasing necessity to focus on patient-centered care, it is imperative for health care professionals to therapeutically engage with patients to improve health-related outcomes. Studies were identified through an electronic search, using the PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and PsycINFO databases of peer-reviewed research, limited to the English language with search terms developed to reflect therapeutic interpersonal relationships between health care professionals and patients in the acute care setting. This study found that therapeutic listening, responding to patient emotions and unmet needs, and patient centeredness were key characteristics of strategies for improving therapeutic interpersonal relationships.

Keywords: health, acute care, therapeutic interpersonal relationships, relational care integrative review

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