Striking a professional balance: interactions between nurses and their older rural patients

Sophie Corbett, Fiona Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Close relationships between older adults and their health-care professionals in community settings can enhance wellbeing and support positive health in older age. In rural areas, health-care workers may know their patients socially as well as professionally, and roles are mediated. This article reports the findings
from 16 qualitative interviews with older adults and health and social care professionals in rural areas of Wales. The study found that the sharing of nonclinical information in rural home-care situations is both likely and desirable, supporting the sense of social connectedness experienced by the older adult,
contributing towards the development of the nurse/carer–client relationship and improving older adult wellbeing. However, it is recognised that there is potential for boundaries to become blurred and, in some situations, nurses and carers
may need support to negotiate the divide between appropriate and inappropriate disclosure while maintaining a close relationship with the older adult.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-135
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Community Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2014


  • Professional boundaries
  • Nurse/carer-older adult relationships
  • Rural


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