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Keywords:

  • attitudes;
  • mental health;
  • nurse practitioners;
  • psychosocial interventions;
  • roles

Psychosocial interventions (PSI) offer a range of problem-centred activities designed to improve the health and quality of life of clients and their carers. The paper reports the findings of a study on the roles and perspectives of mental health nurse practitioners towards clients with enduring mental illness and their carers following completion of PSI training. Focus groups interviews were conducted with PSI mental health nurse practitioners (n = 8) and data were analysed for thematic content. The results of the study indicated that PSI practitioners developed positive attitudes towards their client following PSI training and this attitudinal change enabled clients to develop more confidence and autonomy in managing the symptoms of their illness in a more empowered way. Focus group participants observed reduced levels of anxiety among clients and their carers. This was attributed to the ‘sense of hope’ within the caring milieu which was established as a result of collaborative working with the client and family. The findings suggest that there is a need for further exploration of the PSI practitioner role with a particular focus on the centrality of positive attitudes on the development of the therapeutic milieu for clients with severe and enduring mental ill health.