Exploring the illness disclosure process through the intimacy relationship experiences of chronic psychiatric patients

Li Ming Shen, Shuh-Jen Sheu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract Background: Issues related to psychiatric patient intimacy relationships are often neglected, sometimes to the point of being treated as taboo.Nevertheless, intimacy relationships are very important to the life of psychiatric patients.Purpose: The authors designed this study to understand the processes used by psychiatric patients to make decisions about disclosing information on their illness to their dating partners.Methods: This study used grounded theory techniques, and data were collected using four focus group interview sessions and six in-depth individual interview sessions held at a psychiatric hospital in Taipei.Study subjects included twenty chronic psychiatric patients.Results: Data analysis identified three distinct stages of illness disclosure, including: 1) Considerations before disclosure: avoiding, struggling, or withdrawing; 2) Experiences during disclosure: hastening, facing confidently or choosing the easiest way; and 3) Results after disclosure: accepting, blaming, doubting, or refusing and adjusting their mind.Conclusions: The authors hope study results will help nurses understand better the stresses and impacts of illness disclosure and gender interaction experiences that psychiatric patients undergo and provide nurses with more ideas and approaches on counseling psychiatric patients about the illness disclosure process in the dating process in order to improve quality of care to this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-36
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2011


  • Chronic psychiatric
  • Illness disclosure
  • Intimacy relationship


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring the illness disclosure process through the intimacy relationship experiences of chronic psychiatric patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this