Difficulties experienced by nurses in treating a total of 249 patients
in four short-stay psychiatric units were examined using a rating scale
that assessed such factors as overall extent of treatment difficulty,
patients' problem behaviors, adequacy of treatment resources, and staff
members' affective responses. Data from each site were analyzed separately
using stepwise hierarchical regression. The findings indicated that patient
problem behaviors and treatment resources were comparable between settings.
Except for patient violence, none of the problems were consistently related
to overall treatment difficulty across settings. The results suggest that
treatment difficulty is related to the unique combination of patient
characteristics, resource deficits, and treatment philosophies in
particular treatment settings and that efforts to reduce treatment
difficulty should address setting- specific issues.