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Measuring Nurse Caring Behaviors in the Hospitalized Older Adult

Goncalves, Susan A. DNP, MS, RN-BC; Strong, Linda L. EdD, MSN, RN; Nelson, Mary PhD

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: March 2016 - Volume 46 - Issue 3 - p 132–138
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000312

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between nurse caring behavior scores and the use of the “Get to Know Me” poster in hospitalized older adults.

BACKGROUND: Hospitalization can be an isolating experience for the patient and his/her family. Within the high-tech healthcare arena, the focus of the “patient/person” can be lost. The art of caring and basic communication between the nurse and person is essential to nursing.

METHODS: This was a 2-group quasi-experimental pretest-posttest design using the intervention of the Get to Know Me poster and measurement of nurse caring behaviors with the Caring Assessment of Care Givers (CACG) instrument.

RESULTS: Nurse caring behavior scores of the nurses in the experimental group who utilized the Get to Know Me poster were significantly higher on the total CACG scores as well on the subscale dimensions of maintaining belief, being with, and doing for than those of the nurses forming the control group.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this research indicated that interventions that focus the attention on the person and emphasize patient-focused care can enhance nurse caring behaviors and strengthen the patient-nurse relationship.

Author Affiliations: Assistant Professor, Sacred Heart University, College of Nursing, and Registered Nurse, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Bridgeport, Connecticut (Dr Goncalves), and Associate Professor (Dr Strong), Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut; and Professor (Dr Nelson), Western Connecticut State University, Danbury.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Goncalves, Sacred Heart University, 5151 Park Ave, Fairfield CT 06825 (

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