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Keywords:

  • attitude;
  • electronic survey;
  • evidence-based practice;
  • guidelines;
  • mental health

Introduction

The adoption of evidence-based guidelines within the mental health field has been slow. Changing inadequate practice is therefore a formidable challenge for mental health-care managers.

Aim

To explore decision-makers' attitudes and awareness regarding the national guidelines for psychosocial interventions targeting people with schizophrenia.

Method

A questionnaire distributed by e-mail to 592 Swedish decision-makers was analysed using descriptive and comparative techniques.

Results

Significantly more of the top-level mental health-care managers than politicians stated that they knew about the national guidelines (i.e. their release and content) and they considered the guidelines to be a good source of support for planning and allocating resources.

Conclusion

If those responsible for allocating resources (i.e. politicians) are unaware of the dissemination of national guidelines or their content, and they do not perceive the national guidelines to be a good source of support for planning and allocating resources, this is likely to have a negative influence on the remit of nurse managers as well as nursing practice.

Implications for nursing management

Top-level mental health-care managers have a vital role to play in the implementation of national guidelines. However, our findings indicate that implementing national guidelines in practice could be virtually impossible without strategic government support.