A preliminary description of the United Kingdom community psychiatric nursing literature, 1960-1990


  • Len Bowers BSc(Hons) RMN RGN

    Corresponding author
    1. Clinical Nurse Specialist, Tameside and Glossop Health Authority, and Lecturer, Department of Health Care Studies, Manchester Polytechnic, Manchester, England
    Search for more papers by this author

Mr L Bowers, Department of Health Care Studies, Manchester Polytechnic, Elizabeth Gaskell, Hathersage Road, Manchester M13 0JA, England


Five hundred and two items about community psychiatric nursing have been located and classified The data indicate a continuing rising trend in the number of publications on this subject The majority of the literature is about the clinical role of the community psychiatric nurse (CPN) and is descriptive/analytical in nature The second largest proportion is research, the third largest topic is management and administration and the fourth largest is CPN education The amount of ‘clinical’ literature as a proportion of the whole has been in decline since the mid-1970s The majority of papers cannot be classified by the specialism of community psychiatric nursing to which they relate, but a small and significant number have been written about the care of the elderly mentally ill Overall, the practising CPNs have been the most prolific writers, followed by academic nurses and then nurse managers Contributions from other professions are miniscule Over recent years the contribution of nurse managers has declined, and that of academic nurses has risen The contribution of practising CPNs remains robust Research publications also continue to rise, the majority being produced by academics, but large contributions are also being made by nurse managers and practising CPNs In the early years nearly all publications of articles were in populist nursing magazines In recent years the spread of journals in which items about community psychiatric nursing appear has widened considerably