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Establishing therapeutic relationships in the context of public health nursing practice Open Access


Other title
therapeutic relationships, public health nursing, grounded theory
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Porr, Caroline Jane
Supervisor and department
Drummond, Jane (Faculty of Nursing)
Examining committee member and department
Drummond, Jane (Faculty of Nursing)
Olson, Karin (Faculty of Nursing)
Williamson, Deanna (Department of Human Ecology)
Sword, Wendy (Faculty of Health Sciences)
Richter, Magdalena, S. (Faculty of Nursing)
Larsen, Denise J. (Department of Educational Psychology
Faculty of Nursing

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
I employed classical grounded theory methodology to formulate a theory of establishing therapeutic relationships in the context of public health nursing practice. Targeting Essence: Pragmatic Variation of the Therapeutic Relationship emerged as the theoretical model that elucidates how public health nurses develop therapeutic rapport with vulnerable and potentially stigmatized clients, specifically lower income lone-parent mothers. Data sources consisted of interview transcripts and dyadic observations. Public health nurses and lower income lone-parent mothers were the primary participants. During analysis, other sources for data were sought to achieve saturation of conceptual categories and theoretical integration. Targeting Essence: Pragmatic Variation of the Therapeutic Relationship is a six-stage process that evolved from theoretical interpretive analysis of the participants’ general pattern of relating. Public health nurses strategically modify the therapeutic relationship during their efforts to ascertain main concerns of mothers within the constraints of contemporary practice. Lower income lone-parent mothers with heightened sensitivities enact interactional behaviours to discern the intent of public health nurses. The study’s focused context elicited a nuanced explanation of the dynamic process that builds on the fundamentals of communication. Targeting Essence: Pragmatic Variation of the Therapeutic Relationship has the potential to enhance relational practice capacity, to advance nursing communication training curricula, and, ultimately, to promote maternal/child health and well-being.
License granted by Caroline Porr ( on 2009-09-23T03:22:56Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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