Evaluation of an educational practice development programme for staff working in mental health inpatient environments

Chambers, M, Gillard, S, Turner, K and Borschmann, R (2013) Evaluation of an educational practice development programme for staff working in mental health inpatient environments. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 20(4), pp. 362-373. ISSN (print) 1365-2850


ACCESSIBLE SUMMARY: •  Clinical practice in acute inpatient environments can be both complex and demanding for clinicians. Often, the majority of nursing staff working in such environments are recently qualified with limited experience, as these clinical areas are considered the right place to consolidate knowledge following registration. •  In this paper, we describe an evaluation of a mental health staff practice development training programme aimed to enhance clinicians' skills and optimise service users' experience of hospitalization. •  Clinicians found the training course to be motivating and valuable to their daily clinical practice. At follow-up, they reported an increased sense of competence and confidence when interacting with service users. •  It is possible for healthcare professionals to achieve enhanced interaction and therapeutic skills with a short, focused education programme. Further research is needed to investigate the impact of service user involvement during the design and facilitation of the programme. ABSTRACT: This paper describes key components of a mental health practice development training programme, which aimed to translate into practice a deeper, more evidence-based understanding of the lived experience of service users detained under the Mental Health Act (1983/2007), using action research as the underpinning paradigm. The programme explored the myriad applications of the six categories of intervention initially proposed by Heron and the widespread applicability of solution-focused brief therapy. The programme evaluation used open-ended questionnaires in order to obtain participants' views on facilitation and workshop content, in addition to two focus groups. The aim of the evaluation was to provide insight into participants' experience of the programme. Feedback from participants reflected a high degree of skill acquisition and enhancement and a noticeable change in ward culture after completing the programme. Service user researchers were intimately involved during all stages of the design, implementation and analysis including service user interviews for Phase 1 and the education intervention element of the practice development programme. Implications for evidence-based mental health nursing practice, service user involvement in research and directions for future research are discussed.

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