Interpersonal Complexity: A Cognitive Component of Person-Centered Care

L. Medvene, K. Grosch, N. Swink
2006 The gerontologist  
Purpose: This study concerns one component of the ability to provide person-centered care: the cognitive skill of perceiving others in relatively complex terms. This study tested the effectiveness of a social motivation for increasing the number of psychological constructs used to describe an unfamiliar senior citizen. Design and Methods: Forty-four certified nurse aide students participated. Students were mostly 30-year-old (M = 31) females (86%) with a high school education (72%). A
more » ... rimental design was used. Early in training, participants completed the Role Category Questionnaire (RCQ), which measured their interpersonal cognitive complexity. On the basis of their RCQ scores, participants were matched and assigned to the experimental or control condition. Five weeks later, participants viewed a 15-min videotaped biography of an unfamiliar senior citizen-Mitch. Participants in both conditions were told they would be asked to describe Mitch as a person after watching the video. Only participants in the experimental condition were additionally asked to imagine that they would be having a personal conversation with him afterward. Results: As hypothesized, participants in the experimental condition (M = 14.6) used more constructs to describe Mitch than did participants in the control condition (M = 11.8): F(1, 41) = 4.03, p , .05. Participants' RCQ scores were significantly correlated with the complexity of their descriptions of Mitch. Implications: The findings suggest that new training materials should be created that include experienced certified nurse aides' modeling how biographical and personal information can be used in caregiving tasks to gain residents' cooperation.
doi:10.1093/geront/46.2.220 pmid:16581886 fatcat:xgm6bym4uvgw7oegnza237hd74