Publication Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Robert E. Leftwich, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Mary J. Geis, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Maria A. Connolly, MSN


All interpersonal relationships have conflict as well as peace and harmony. An otherwise healthy family who has a member with terminal cancer of the breast or prostate will experience increased conflict because of all the changes that occur with this prognosis. The problem explored in this study was how nurses facilitated conflict resolution among terminally ill patients and their families. The research design consisted of presenting nurses with two scenarios demonstrative of a family conflict with pain control and anorexia as the foci. Each scenario had five responses which each nurse was asked to rank order in terms of nursing interventions. These responses represented nursing interventions by: l) authoritarian action; 2) turning conflict over to physician; 3) ignoring the conflict by taking the side of the caregiver; 4) ignoring the caregiver's perception; and 5) facilitating conflict resolution. The sample consisted of ten home health nurses who had a baccalaureate degree in nursing. The results suggest that the majority of nurses might in actual situations insight choose to intervene by facilitating conflict resolution as their first choice. Taking the side of the caregiver was the least desirable intervention selected by these nurses.


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