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Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 1993 Dec;7(6):336-41.

Nurses' confirming/disconfirming responses to patients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

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Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital, Ontario, Canada.


This study examines whether in group situations, patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) received less empathic verbal responses from nurses than non-BPD patients. Nurses' feelings toward specific diagnoses were also examined. Twenty patient groups were observed involving 17 nurse leaders and 164 patients. Responses by the nurse leaders were rated using Heineken's Confirmation/Disconfirmation Rating Instrument. The staff response portion of Colson's Hospital Treatment Rating Scale was used to determine nurses's feelings toward specific diagnoses. The study provides some initial evidence that in actual practice situations nurses respond to BPD patients in a less empathic manner than to patients with other diagnoses.

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