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Nursing Research and Practice
Volume 2011, Article ID 392705, 12 pages
Research Article

Coping Strategies of Family Members of Hospitalized Psychiatric Patients

1School of Nursing, Old Dominion University, 2138 Health Sciences Building, Norfolk, VA 23529, USA
2School of Nursing, Hampton University, Hampton, VA 23668, USA
3Sociology Department, Hampton University, Hampton, VA 23668, USA

Received 16 December 2010; Accepted 28 February 2011

Academic Editor: Demetrius Porche

Copyright © 2011 Phyllis M. Eaton et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This exploratory research paper investigated the coping strategies of families of hospitalized psychiatric patients and identified their positive and negative coping strategies. In this paper, the coping strategies of 45 family members were examined using a descriptive, correlational, mixed method research approach. Guided by the Neuman Systems Model and using the Family Crisis Oriented Personal Evaluation Scales and semistructured interviews, this paper found that these family members used more emotion-focused coping strategies than problem-focused coping strategies. The common coping strategies used by family members were communicating with immediate family, acceptance of their situation, passive appraisal, avoidance, and spirituality. The family members also utilized resources and support systems, such as their immediate families, mental health care professionals, and their churches.