Mental health clinician training and experiences with utilization of advance statements in Victoria, Australia
James, R and Maude, P and Searby, A, Mental health clinician training and experiences with utilization of advance statements in Victoria, Australia, International Journal of Mental Health Nursing Article online ahead of print. ISSN 1445-8330 (2021) [Refereed Article]
Advance statements, advance directives, or psychiatric wills are a key component of a shift to mental healthcare that promotes autonomy and choice and aims to reduce restrictive and coercive care practices in mental health treatment settings. The use of advance statements has gained momentum to provide a means for individuals to detail clear preferences for mental health treatment. This paper uses a qualitative descriptive design to explore the experiences of clinicians (n = 15) implementing advance statements in the state of Victoria, Australia, a region that introduced advance statements as part of an overhaul of mental health legislation in 2014. The study, reported using the COREQ framework, found two key themes after analysis: experiences of advance statement training, with the availability and quality of training and training as a driver of change emerging as sub-themes, and experiences of advance statements in practice, with participants providing narratives of the barriers and facilitators to successful advance statement implementation. We recommend that clinician and service user experiences of advance statement implementation are further explored to identify existing and emerging barriers to implementation of these tools, which are crucial to achieve autonomy and choice for individuals receiving mental healthcare.