The purpose of this descriptive study was to describe the psychological responses of saline abortion patients and the nurses who provided for their care. The study utilized a sample composed of five unmarried women between the ages of fifteen and twenty-one years who were seeking their first abortion, and of seventeen nurses who provided for their nursing care. The data were gathered during the hospitalization of the abortion patients. The raw data were obtained through the use of a nursing process recording and an information gathering interview with each patient and with each nurse. The tools used to analyze the raw data were a problematic verbal tool and a short clinical rating scale. Using the problematic verbal tool, the nursing interactions that were recorded on the process recording were evaluated as to their therapeutic or nontherapeutic value. The information for the short clinical rating scale was obtained from the researcher's memory of what had occurred and from the process recording.

The researcher concluded that the patients included in this descriptive study experienced changes in their behavior which indicated the need for a supportive relationship. The researcher also concluded that nursing interactions were often too infrequent, too short, and too negative.

Recommendations for future studies were as follows:

1. That a tool be developed to study family interactions of adolescents seeking abortions, so that those who are in the greatest need of support can be identified.

2. That a long term follow-up study be carried out over a longer period of time to determine the amount of depression.

3. That hospitals provide orientation and in-service support to personnel involved with abortions.

4. That descriptive survey study of approximately one hundred patients be developed in which a tool is used such as the problematic verbal tool to measure the number of positive and negative verbal interactions between nurses and patients for saline abortions, for gynecological surgical procedures, or for other clinical problems in any area of a general hospital.

5. That a rating scale which measures fine changes in behavior be developed and used in a similar study.

6. That a nonparticipant observer use a one-way mirror in future studies to observe the saline abortion patient.

7. That a study be made to determine what factors in a nurse's life and experience are most likely to affect her attitudes toward abortion patients and her nursing care for them.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Rachel Lee

Second Advisor

Ina Y. Longway

Third Advisor

Ronald M. Nelson

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Abortion -- psychology; Abortion -- nursing



Page Count

viii; 99

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives

Included in

Nursing Commons