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Lin Mei-Feng; Chiou, Jaw-Haw; Chou, Mei-Hsien; Hsu, Mei-Chi
Journal of Nursing Research: December 2006
doi: 10.1097/01.JNR.0000387591.02038.18


The purpose of this study was to explore the perceived the significant experiences of psychiatric patients related to token therapy. A qualitative in-depth interview was applied to collect individual opinions and perceptions. The 13 patients included in this study, all of whom had been diagnosed with mental disorders, received a six-month program of token therapy. Semi-structured interviews of approximately 40 minutes each were held with each participant and transcribed for further analysis in accordance with the principals of content analysis. The three significant domains of experience of participants receiving token therapy included: (1) acknowledgement of token therapy significance, (2) appreciation of each step in terms of personal achievement, and (3) reinforcement from personal changes and family support. Findings support the application of token therapy in psychiatric rehabilitation settings using the strategy of applying appropriate positive or negative logos to communicate reinforcement in an immediate manner that is further enhanced by the public tracking of accumulated patient scores on an evaluation board. In this manner, the therapeutic environment is imbued with a critical empowerment function. The effective application in the future of token therapy in mental health rehabilitation programs is recommended.

RN, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University; *RN, MSN, Head Nurse, Chia-Nan Psychiatric Center, Tainan; **RN, MSN, Instructor, Department of Nursing, I-Shou University; ***RN, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, I-Shou University.

Received: April 3, 2006

Revised: August 21, 2006

Accepted: September 11, 2006

Address correspondence to: Mei-Chi Hsu, No. 8, Yida Rd., Yanchao Township, Kaohsiung County 82445, Taiwan, ROC.

Tel: 886(7)615-1100 ext. 7720; E-mail:

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.