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Keywords:

  • attitudes;
  • consumer consultants;
  • mental health clinicians;
  • nurses;
  • survey

ABSTRACT:  A key recommendation of consumer organizations and governments has been the employment of consumer consultants in inpatient psychiatric facilities, but the attitudes of mental health clinicians towards this measure remain inconsistent. The aims of this study were to examine mental health clinicians’ attitudes about the role of mental health consumer consultants in inpatient psychiatric units, and to ascertain if participants’ age, type of inpatient unit, or grade of staff influenced their attitudes towards consultants. The Consumer Participation and Consultant Questionnaire was used, which was adapted from the Mental Health Consumer Participation Questionnaire. A convenience sample of 47 mental health professionals from two adult inpatient psychiatric units located in a large Australian public general hospital participated in the study. The findings, overall, showed that participants supported the inclusion of consumer consultants in psychiatric units in areas that indirectly impinged on their current roles. Age, level of nurses, and place of employment did not affect their beliefs, but type of occupation was influential. Nurses were less supportive of aspects of consumer consultants’ roles that overlapped with the traditional roles of the nurse. The findings have implications for clinical practice, education, and further research, and these are discussed.