A Qualitative Study of Difficult Nurse-Patient Encounters in Home Health Care

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Nursing



Document Type



Health Services Administration | Nursing


The purpose of this study was to explore nurse-patient encounters from the perspective of the home health care registered nurse. A qualitative descriptive design was used to collect data from a purposive sample of 20 nurses from Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island currently or previously employed as a home health care nurse. Four themes and 1 interconnecting theme emerged from the data: objective language; navigating the unknown; mitigating risk; looking for reciprocality in the encounter; and the interconnecting theme of acknowledging not all nurse-patient encounters go well. Three types of encounters-constructive, nonconstructive, and destructive-were defined.

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Citation: Falkenstrom MK. A Qualitative Study of Difficult Nurse-Patient Encounters in Home Health Care. ANS Adv Nurs Sci. 2016 Oct 28. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27798435.


Mary Kate Falkenstrom undertook this study as a doctoral student (view her dissertation) in the Graduate School of Nursing at UMass Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed


constructive encounters, difficult encounters, home care, home health care, human-to-human relationship, mitigating risk, nonconstructive encounters, nurse-patient encounters, reciprocality, reciprocity

PubMed ID