• participation;
  • nursing;
  • acute psychiatric inpatient care;
  • co-operative team meetings;
  • narrative approach;
  • storytelling;
  • dialogue analysis

Background.  One of the goals of co-operative psychiatric nursing and co-operative team meetings is to improve patients' and significant others' participation and thus, to enhance patients' resources outside the hospital. The objective of this paper is to describe the different expert interventions that either enabled or prevented patient and his/her significant others participation in co-operative team meetings in acute psychiatric wards.

Methods.  The data consisted of 11 videotaped team meetings. The participants were voluntary patients, significant others and experts in health and social care. A narrative approach focused on the storytelling of all members in the meetings. The method of modified dialogue analysis was used to identify the ideas of the stories.

Findings.  The same topic of discussion was shared in active participation. The experts asked open-ended questions, the patient and his/her significant others' were free to express their viewpoints and the experts' interpretation was based on their stories. The experts presented the reasons for their questions, and the contents of the questions were verbalized. In passive participation, the experts questions were based on their own point of view, and the patient and his significant others merely answered these questions. If the expert opinion appeared too dominating at the co-operative team meeting, the patient's and his/her significant others' participation was in jeopardy.

Conclusions.  The physician either dominates the storytelling or gives space for free expressions of various viewpoints during the co-operative team meetings.