Professional Boundaries of Nursing Staff in Secure Mental Health Services: Impact of Interpersonal Style and Attitude Toward Coercion [2018]

The current study explored the impact of nursing staff members’ interpersonal style and attitudes toward coercion on the management of their professional boundaries. Researchers predicted that a combination of a particular interpersonal style, a specific attitude toward coercion, and self-reported engagement in boundary-crossing behavior would be associated with particular styles of boundary management as outlined by Hamilton’s Boundary Seesaw Model. Sixty-three nursing staff members in secure inpatient mental health services completed measures of boundary management, boundary crossings, attitude toward coercion, and interpersonal style. Regression analyses showed that a submissive interpersonal style and fewer boundary-crossing behaviors were associated with a pacifier boundary management style. In contrast, a pragmatic attitude toward coercion predicted a negotiator style of boundary management. The regression model for controller boundary management style was not significant. Findings are explored, along with their impact and implications for research and practice.

Katie Lambert, MSc; Simon Chu, PhD, CPsychol, AFBPsS; Polly Turner, PhD, CPsychol

Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 2018