Developing a concept analysis of control for use in child and adolescent mental health nursing
The need to help children and young people with significant mental health problems develop a sense of personal control in their everyday lives, in a manner which does not endanger themselves or others, was recognized by nurse practitioners working in an English regional multidisciplinary child and adolescent mental health residential unit. A concept analysis of control was undertaken and used to develop a framework for analysing control. This deductive framework was modified iteratively by nurses who developed new knowledge from a qualitative exploration of current practice and the application of the evolving framework to practice problems. The paper describes this process and highlights three main findings: (i) the evolving attributes of the concept analysis helped nurses steer a course through the complexities of practice; (ii) the research highlighted and enabled nurses to confront the paradoxical nature of control; (iii) the process enabled nurses to recognize the mutuality of feelings aroused simultaneously when both the nurse and the child are challenged to maintain personal control.