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Title: Talking about mental health nursing : a qualitative analysis of nurses' and service users' accounts
Author: Terry, Julia Mary
ISNI:       0000 0004 7425 5305
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2018
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This study explores talk about mental health nursing, in a policy and practice climate that promotes service user involvement in nursing processes. The intention of this study was to gain multiple perspectives about mental health nursing and service user involvement through in-depth research interviews and focus groups with mental health nurses, nursing students and mental health service users. Analysis centred on the meaning making of participants’ talk and how mental health nursing identities are accounted for and constructed. The opportunities for authentic service user involvement in nursing processes within mental health systems that include detention and a focus on compliance are under-explored. Historically mental health services have been linked with power and control, as treatments and interventions have often been coercive and at times involve forced assessment and treatment under mental health legislation. Challenges to power, control and coercion can be found in practices that promote service user involvement. However, a power imbalance in relationships between mental health service users and mental health practitioners is evident, with service users having partial agency and often limited involvement regarding their care and treatment. This study found that nurses and mental health service users talked about how nursing work was often task-focused, and made reference to nurses spending limited therapeutic time directly with service users, who then spoke of their dissatisfaction regarding engagements with nursing staff. Nursing students voiced limited knowledge and exposure to examples of how nurses engage in service user involvement activities in practice indicating they had little experience of this. Instead students said they felt compelled to go along with practices that appeared to work in opposition to involvement. Displays of understanding in participants’ talk about mental health nursing work indicated the existence of powerful professional cultures that included distance and separateness from service users and perpetuated limited involvement. It is important that mental health nurses consider imbalanced power relationships that exist in mental health environments and challenge cultures that discourage nurses from working more collaboratively with service users.
Supervisor: Coffey, Michael ; Hewitt, Jeanette Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral