Nurse-patient interaction: A review of the literature

Mona Shattell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


Aims. The aims of this paper are to review a theoretical model useful for developing nursing knowledge related to nurse-patient interaction, review the literature on nurse-patient interaction, and discuss areas for further research. Theoretical model. Goffman's theory of face work. Results. Nurse-patient interaction is a central element of clinical nursing practice. This paper shows how Goffman's model can be used as a theoretical framework for understanding nurse-patient communication. Relevance to clinical practice. Issues such as power, the social and cultural context, and interpersonal competence are shown to be important in the quality of nurse-patient interactions and nurses need to take cognizance of these factors in their interactions with patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)714-722
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of clinical nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Nurse-patient communication
  • Nurse-patient interaction
  • Nurse-patient relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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