The lived experience of community mental health nurses working with people who have dual diagnosis: a phenomenological study

Authors

  • L. COOMBES rmn rgn ba(hons) pgcea ma,

    Corresponding author
    1. Senior Lecturer, Mental Health Nursing, School of Health and Social Care, and
      L. Coombes
      School of Health and Social Care
      Oxford Brookes University
      Marston Site
      Jack Straw's Lane
      Marston
      Oxford OX3 0FL
      UK
      E-mail: elcoombes@brookes.ac.uk
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  • A. WRATTEN dipcot ma

    1. Occupational Therapist, School of Health and Social Care, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK
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L. Coombes
School of Health and Social Care
Oxford Brookes University
Marston Site
Jack Straw's Lane
Marston
Oxford OX3 0FL
UK
E-mail: elcoombes@brookes.ac.uk

Abstract

Dual diagnosis (the combination of mental health and substance misuse problems) is a significant facing mental health nurses in the UK. The purpose of the study was to describe the lived experience of community mental health nurses working with people who have a dual diagnosis. A phenomenological approach was us and a purposive sample of seven community mental health nurses with experience of working with people with a dual diagnosis was selected. Data were collected through audiotaped, semi-structured interviews lasting approximately 1 h in duration and analysed using Colaizzi's (1978) method. Thirteen theme clusters relating to three major themes were identified: (1) difficulties in understanding the concept of dual diagnosis; (2) feeling deskilled when working with people who have a dual diagnosis; (3) struggling to work in a system which seeks to avoid people with dual diagnosis. Recommendations regarding the need for increased joint working between professionals, improved education and further research are made.

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