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Guidelines for maintaining friendships as an integral part of facilitating mental health in the community

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. M. Poggenpoel Prof. C. Myburgh en
dc.contributor.author Grobbelaar, Laetitia
dc.date.accessioned 2010-03-17T06:08:56Z
dc.date.available 2010-03-17T06:08:56Z
dc.date.issued 2010-03-17T06:08:56Z
dc.date.submitted 2009-01
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/3091
dc.description M.Cur. en
dc.description.abstract People are created for relationships. To be alive is to reach out to others. Initiating, developing and maintaining committed relationships are the most important and often the most underestimated activities in people’s lives (Johnson, 2006:2). Throughout a person’s whole life, relationships are the core of his or her existence. People are conceived within relationships, are born into relationships and live their lives within relationships. People are dependent on other people for the realisation of life itself, for survival, for aid and comfort, for love and education necessary for healthy development, for fun, excitement and fulfilment. People’s relationships with others form the context for all other aspects of their lives (Johnson, 2006:3). Relationships play a significant role in a person’s mental health. They also help to form a person’s support system that helps a person deal with life’s difficulties and trauma (Duck, 1999:1). During interaction with clients admitted at a private Psychiatric clinic where the researcher worked as a Psychiatric Nurse, the following were observed: the clients’ responses concerning their support system would be non-existing, or a spouse or a relative, such as a sister and in rare occasions a friend. Some of the clients would also be working through the loss of a friendship or some would complain that they did not have friendship relationships anymore. Bearing in mind the significance of friendship relationships in relation to mental health and the observations made in practice, the researcher identified that the loss or absence of a friendship can lead to poor mental health. The research questions asked were: How can friendships be maintained and what guidelines can be described to assist individuals to maintain friendships? The purpose of this study is to explore and describe what people with existing friendships do to maintain their friendships, and as a result of the findings, describe guidelines for the Psychiatric Nurse to assist individuals to maintain friendships. A qualitative research design, which is explorative, descriptive and contextual in nature, was followed (Brink, 1999:125). The research took place in two phases. In phase one the researcher explored and described what people with existing friendships do to maintain their friendships. In phase two the results of phase one were utilised to describe guidelines for the Psychiatric Nurse to assist individuals to maintain friendships in order to facilitate their mental health. The data was collected through semi-structured interviews using the Appreciative Inquiry approach (Watkins & Mohr, 2001:4). Interviews were conducted with eight participants who met the inclusive sampling criteria and who were purposively selected. Consent was obtained from the participants. Firstly, a pilot study was done with one of the participants in order to assess the strong and weak points of the research, and to make changes where necessary; thereafter the rest of the participants were interviewed. The researcher and an independent coder analysed the data using the descriptive analysis technique by Tesch (Creswell, 1994:155 – 156). A consensus discussion on the research findings was held between the researcher and the independent coder. Trustworthiness was insured by using strategies of credibility, transferability, dependability and confirmability (Guba & Lincoln, 1985:289). The results showed what people with existing friendships do to maintain these friendships. Significant features were identified in these friendships that are being maintained and these features are as follows. The friendship provides support. The friendship provides relaxation. The friendship portrays effective communication. The friendship portrays effective time investment. The friendship portrays commitment. The friendship is ongoing and if it has not yet reached maturity, it provides an opportunity for growth and development. From these results guidelines were described for the Psychiatric Nurse to assist individuals to maintain friendships in order to facilitate their mental health. Recommendations were made regarding the application of the results of the study in nursing research and Psychiatric Nursing practice. It was concluded that the research questions were answered, the research objectives were reached and the problem statement was supported. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Friendship en
dc.subject Interpersonal relations en
dc.subject Psychiatric nurses en
dc.title Guidelines for maintaining friendships as an integral part of facilitating mental health in the community en
dc.type Mini-Dissertation en


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