A risk to himself: Attitudes toward psychiatric patients and choice of psychosocial strategies among nurses in medical–surgical units†
Version of Record online: 14 FEB 2012
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Research in Nursing & Health
Volume 35, Issue 2, pages 200–213, April 2012
How to Cite
MacNeela, P., Scott, P. A., Treacy, M., Hyde, A. and O'Mahony, R. (2012), A risk to himself: Attitudes toward psychiatric patients and choice of psychosocial strategies among nurses in medical–surgical units. Res. Nurs. Health, 35: 200–213. doi: 10.1002/nur.21466
We wish to acknowledge the funding support of the Irish Health Research Board research programme in nursing decision making. We are also grateful to journal reviewers and editors for the helpful and constructive feedback they provided.
- Issue online: 4 MAR 2012
- Version of Record online: 14 FEB 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 JAN 2012
- mental illness;
- decision making;
- hospital/institutional environment;
Psychiatric patients are liable to stereotyping by healthcare providers. We explored attitudes toward caring for psychiatric patients among 13 nurses working in general hospitals in Ireland. Participants thought aloud in response to a simulated patient case and described a critical incident of a patient for whom they had cared. Two attitudinal orientations were identified that correspond to stereotypical depictions of risk and vulnerability. The nurses described psychosocial care strategies that were pragmatic rather than authentically person-centered, with particular associations between risk-oriented attitudes and directive nursing care. Nurses had expectations likely to impede relationship building and collaborative care. Implications arising include the need for improved knowledge about psychiatric conditions and for access to professional development in targeted therapeutic communication skills. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 35:200–213, 2012