Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Jeanette Kissinger


A descriptive study was undertaken to investigate the relationship between a patient's stress level during hospitalization and his perception of his significant family member's role providing support. The following subproblems were also addressed:

(1) What types of activities, presently or potentially performed by a significant family member, does the patient perceive as supportive?

(2) What types of nursing activities, as perceived by the patient, are being done to encourage/discourage performance of family support activities?

(3) What other factors does the patient perceive as encouraging/discouraging performance of these family role-related activities?

The Hospital Stress Rating Scale (Volicer and Bohannon, 1975) was administered to 30 adult surgical patients on the third postoperative day to determine stress levels associated with hospitalization. An investigator developed semi-structured interview was also administered to these subjects to determine the patient's perception of his significant family member's role in providing support.

The data obtained from the subjects were analyzed utilizing descriptive statistics and the Spearman Rank Correlation Coefficient. Application of the Spearman Rank Correlation Coefficient revealed the finding that there was no statistically significant association between a patient's stress level and his perception of his family's role in providing support. Resuits of this study suggested, however, that the family does play an important supportive role during the hospitalization phase of illness.


Scanned, with permission from the author, from the original print version, which resides in University Archives.


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VCU University Archives

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VCU Theses and Dissertations

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Nursing Commons