A smallest space analysis of nurses' perceptions of their interpersonal skills
Morrison, P., Burnard, P. and Hackett, P. (1991) A smallest space analysis of nurses' perceptions of their interpersonal skills. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 4 (2-3). pp. 119-125.
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The theoretical framework known as ‘Six Category Intervention Analysis’ (Heron 1989) was used as the basis for developing a simple rating scale for assessing nurses interpersonal skills. A convenience sample of nurses (n= 117) were asked to rate themselves on six interpersonal interventions using a five-point rating scale. Trends which have been reported in the literature were also observed in this sample: the nurses perceived themselves to be more interpersonally skilled in the use of supportive, informative and perspective interventions and less skilled in the use of catalytic, cathartic and confronting interventions. Further statistical examination using Smallest Space Analysis (SSA) revealed unexpected patterns in the way the Six Category Intervention items may be interrelated. In Heron's original scheme, the six interventions may be divided up into authoritative and facilitative groups, but we found no empirical support for this division. Our interpretation of the SSA analysis suggested that the interventions could be considered in terms of those that involve the expression of emotion: cathartic, catalytic and confronting interventions; and those that are more dispassionate: prescriptive and informative interventions. The supportive intervention was found to link up with both of these groups.
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