Jacklin E. Fisher, RN, RPN, MA.
Implications of evidence-based practice for mental health nursing
Article first published online: 6 MAY 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc.
International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Volume 18, Issue 3, pages 179–185, June 2009
How to Cite
Fisher, J. E. and Happell, B. (2009), Implications of evidence-based practice for mental health nursing. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 18: 179–185. doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0349.2009.00607.x
Brenda Happell, RN, RPN, BA(Hons), BEd, Dip Ed, MEd, PhD.
- Issue published online: 6 MAY 2009
- Article first published online: 6 MAY 2009
- Accepted February 2009.
- consumer participation;
- evidence-based practice;
- lived experience;
- mental health nursing;
The introduction of evidence-based practice (EBP) and the hierarchical approach to evidence it engenders within research and evaluation has aroused controversy in the mental health professions. The aim of this paper is to present a critique of EBP with a specific relationship to mental health nursing. It will be argued that in its current form, EBP presents a potential impediment to the facilitation of consumer participation in mental health services and to the recovery model. The need for the consumer voice and the importance of the lived experience of mental illness are not readily reconciled with a strong scientific paradigm that promotes detachment and objectivity. The importance of evidence in contemporary mental health care will also be acknowledged and discussed in light of the current climate of increased consumer knowledge, fiscal constraint, and extensive social criticism of mental health-care services. The current approach to EBP requires reconstruction to support the consumer-focused nature of mental health nursing, and to facilitate the implementation of a recovery model for mental health care.