Skip to main content
Joan Riehl-Sisca is a nursing theorist who presented her symbolic interactionism theory in Riehl and Sister Callista Roy's book, Conceptual Models for Nursing (1980). The Riehl Interaction Model uses the nursing process in implementing nursing care. In symbolic interactionism theory, people interpret each other's actions on the basis of the meaning attached to the action before reacting. It is a process of interpretation between the stimulus and response. Riehl's emphasis is on the assessment and interpretation of the patient's actions by the nurse, who then makes predictions about the patient's behavior. This is done to plan interventions with the patient and the patient's family. Riehl views the nurse and patient as actively exchanging information and collecting knowledge. The nurse then selects from multiple theories, therapies, and allied health disciplines in planning and implementing effective nursing interventions.