Mental health nurses' views of recovery within an acute setting
Cleary, M and Horsfall, J and O'Hara-Aarons, M and Hunt, GE, Mental health nurses' views of recovery within an acute setting, International journal of mental health nursing, 22, (3) pp. 205-212. ISSN 1445-8330 (2013) [Refereed Article]
How the principles of a recovery-oriented mental health service are incorporated in the day-to-day nursing practice of mental health nurses in inpatient settings is unclear. In this study, we interviewed 21 mental health nurses working in acute inpatient mental health units about a range of recovery-focused topics. Three overlapping themes were identified: (i) the perception of recovery; (ii) congruent humanistic approaches; and (iii) practical realities. Only four interviewees had some formal training about recovery. Most respondents recognize that positive attitudes, person-centred care, hope, education about mental illness, medication and side-effects, and the acknowledgement of individual recovery pathways are necessary to prevent readmission, and are central to a better life for people who live with a mental illness. This research supports the view that ideas and practices associated with the recovery movement have been adopted to some degree by nurses working at the acute end of the services continuum. However, most saw the recovery orientation as rhetoric rather than as an appropriately resourced, coordinated, and integrated program. These nurses, however, speak of much more detailed aspects of working with patients and being required to prepare them for the exigencies of living in the community post-discharge.