Nurses' perceptions of facilitating genuineness in a nurse-patient relationship

Anna Elizabeth Van den Heever, M. Poggenpoel, C. P.H. Myburgh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Genuineness was highlighted as an important concept when nurses' perceptions of facilitating a therapeutic relationship were assessed in a study conducted in private general hospital wards. Training courses are mainly professionally orientated and little attention is given to genuineness, which is underpinned by values and influenced by culture and self-awareness. Reflection on patients' feelings enables mindfulness in the nurse-patient relationship, but nurses often act on instinct or rely on learned knowledge and skills. Despite the increased emphasis on virtue ethics and honest disclosure, hope is offered but nurses are often not honest with themselves or in their response to patients. This poses a challenge when genuineness is facilitated. In this article, nurses' perceptions of facilitating genuineness will be discussed. Method: To assess nurses' genuineness, a quantitative, contextual, deductive and descriptive study was conducted. A purposive sample of nurses was taken from private general hospitals in Gauteng, South Africa. Nurses' (n = 181) perceptions of facilitating genuineness in a nurse-patient relationship were self-assessed on a five-point scale in a questionnaire. Data analysis: Descriptive statistics and non-parametric statistical techniques were used. Specific hypotheses were tested to identify whether statistically significant differences in perceptions of facilitating genuineness existed between two or more groups. Results: When groups were compared, statistically significant differences were identified in nurses' perceptions of facilitating genuineness with respect to age, years' experience as a nurse and qualifications. It is recommended that nurses' awareness of genuineness and its facilitation should involve learning through socialisation and self-awareness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
JournalHealth SA Gesondheid
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • Facilitation
  • Genuineness
  • Perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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