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Interactionality: Willfully Extending the Boundaries of Participatory Research in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing

Soltis-Jarrett, Victoria PhD, APRN,BC


The concepts of somatization and hysteria have been used in nursing, medicine, and healthcare to describe and explain the “unfounded attributes” of women's expressions of pain and discomfort. This study, grounded in poststructural ideologies, extends the boundaries of participatory research in psychiatric-mental health nursing and, thus, developed a series of methodological techniques coined “Interactionality” that then challenged the concept of somatization. This article focuses on the philosophical and conceptual assumptions of Interactionality, and introduces the notion of a double-voiced discourse as a means of communicating the analysis and findings of critical research.

Division of Nursing, School of Health Sciences, Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem, NC.

Corresponding author: Victoria Soltis-Jarrett, PhD, APRN,BC, Sevenhill Associates, PA 1365 Westgate Center Dr, Suite L-1, Winston-Salem, NC 27103 (e-mail:

I acknowledge the participants in this study for their openness and willingness to share their suffering with me. I also acknowledge Professor Judith Clare, my friend and my mentor, for her words of encouragement, guidance, and support in this endeavor.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.