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J Korean Acad Adult Nurs. 2002 Jun;14(2):276-286. Korean. Original Article.
Cho EJ , Chung BY .
Department of Nursing, Kyungpook National University, Korea.

PURPOSE: The concept of embarrassment as an unpleasant emotion is important in caring for those who are in the continuum of illness and health requiring body care and facing sexual problems. In spite of its nursing implication, embarrassment has not been focused in nursing research. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to develope a conceptual analysis of embarrassment. This analysis would help to understand comprehensively an embarrassing situation in which an intimate relationship between nurse and patient regarding body care of the patient could develope. Futhermore, it would be a basis for developing strategies for prevention of embarrassment which could lead for both patient and nurse to emotionally vulnerable situation because of their failure of self-presentation (impression management). METHOD: The concept analysis model suggested by Walker and Avant (1988) is used to clarify what is meant by the term 'embarrassment'. RESULT: This analysis defines the attributes of embarrassment such as follows. First, embarrassment is often attributed to situational factors interrupting a smooth interaction such as intimacy, confusion, vulnerability, exposure of interaction and characteristics of audience. Second, embarrassment is closely related with cognitive factor such as fear of losing face resulted from a behaviour being out of line. Third, embarrassment is closely associated with dispositional factor such as embarrassability. Fourth, embarrassment is an unpleasant and unwanted emotion arising reactively after an interaction had occurred. Fifth, embarrassment encloses physical, physiological and behavioral aspects such as a variety of unique and easily noticeable reactions and a pattern of verbal and non-verbal behaviour for coping in an embarrassing situation. The antecedents were normally socialized adolescents with normal cognitive ability, concern of losing face, embarrassability, embarrassing events related with situational intimacy, confusion, vulnerability, exposure of interaction and characteristics of audience, physical, behavioral blunders resulting in a failure of impression management. The consequences were an emotional coping behaviour, audience's embarrassment responses, and verbal and non-verbal coping strategies of interactional participants. CONCLUSION: It is hoped that this analysis will stimulate further exploration of this concept and study for developing systematic assessment and nursing practice that diminishes embarrassment of interactional participants.

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