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Life in acute mental health settings: experiences and perceptions of service users and nurses

  • D. Rose (a1), J. Evans (a1), C. Laker (a1) and T. Wykes (a2)

Abstract

Background.

Acute psychiatric provision in the UK today as well as globally has many critics including service users and nurses.

Method.

Four focus groups, each meeting twice, were held separately for service users and nurses. The analysis was not purely inductive but driven by concerns with the social position of marginalised groups – both patients and staff.

Results.

The main themes were nurse/patient interaction and coercion. Service users and nurses conceptualised these differently. Service users found nurses inaccessible and uncaring, whereas nurses also felt powerless because their working life was dominated by administration. Nurses saw coercive situations as a reasonable response to factors ‘internal’ to the patient whereas for service users they were driven to extreme behaviour by the environment of the ward and coercive interventions were unnecessary and heavy handed.

Conclusion.

This study sheds new light on living and working in acute mental health settings today by comparing the perceptions of service users and nurses and deploying service user and nurse researchers. The intention is to promote better practice by providing a window on the perceptions of both groups.

Copyright

Corresponding author

* Address for correspondence: Dr Diana Rose, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, PO 34, London SE5 8AF, UK. (Email: diana.rose@kcl.ac.uk)

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Life in acute mental health settings: experiences and perceptions of service users and nurses

  • D. Rose (a1), J. Evans (a1), C. Laker (a1) and T. Wykes (a2)

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