The perceptions of nurses towards barriers to the safe administration of medicines in mental health settings

Authors

  • Steve Hemingway RMN BA(Hons) MA PGDE,

    Senior Lecturer, Corresponding author
    1. Mental Health, School of Health and Human Sciences, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK
    • Correspondence: Steve Hemingway, Mental Health, School of Health and Human Sciences, University of Huddersfield, Room HW1/15 Harold Wilson Building, Huddersfield HD1 3DH, UK. Email: s.j.hemingway@hud.ac.uk

    Search for more papers by this author
  • Terence McCann RN MA PhD,

    Professor
    1. Nursing Research, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Hazel Baxter MPH BA (Hons) RHV RHV RM RGN,

    Lead
    1. Older Peoples and Learning Disabilities Service Clinical Governance Support Team, Fieldhead Hospital, South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Health Trust, Wakefield, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
  • George Smith RMN MSC PGDip,

    Assistant Director
    1. Nurse Education Leadership and Development, Fieldhead Hospital, South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Health Trust, Wakefield, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Rebecca Burgess-Dawson RMN PGCert in Psychiatric Therapeutics,

    Practice Learning Facilitator
    1. Practice Learning Facilitation Office, Castleford & Normanton District Hospital, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Castleford, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Kate Dewhirst Dip Clin Pharm BPharm MRPharmS

    Medicines Management Pharmacist
    1. Fieldhead Hospital, South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Health Trust, Wakefield, UK
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Sources of support: None.
  • Trial Registration: Nil.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate perceptions of barriers to safe administration of medicines in mental health settings. A cross-sectional survey was used, and 70 mental health nurses and 41 students were recruited from a mental health trust and a university in Yorkshire, UK. Respondents completed a questionnaire comprising closed- and open-response questions. One item, which contained seven sub-items, addressed barriers to safe administration of medication. Seven themes—five nurse- and prescriber-focused and two service user-focused—were abstracted from the data, depicting a range of barriers to safe administration of medicines. Nurse- and prescriber-focused themes included environmental distractions, insufficient pharmacological knowledge, poorly written and incomplete medication documentation, inability to calculate medication dosage correctly, and work-related pressure. Service user-focused themes comprised poor adherence to medication regimens, and cultural and linguistic communication barriers with service users. Tackling medication administration error is predominantly an organizational rather than individual practitioner responsibility.

Ancillary