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What does practice development (PD) offer mental health-care contexts? A comparative case study of PD methods and outcomes

Authors

  • K. McCauley PhD MHN MN (Res) Grad Cert HEd Grad Dip Adv Nsg (Psychiatric) BN Nicu cert RM RN,

    Senior Lecturer
    1. School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Vic.
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  • W. Cross PhD Med BAppsSc(AdvNsg) RN RPN FRCNA FACMHN,

    Professor and Head of School
    1. School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Vic.
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  • C. Moss PhD SCU BAppSc Phillip MSc Edin GradDipEdAdmin Hawthorn IAE RN CCUCert FRCNA,

    Associate Professor
    1. School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Vic.
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  • K. Walsh PhD BNurs RN,

    Professor of Translational Research
    1. Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tas., Australia
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  • C. Schofield RN BAppSc(Nursing) MN(NP) GradDip(Forensic Behavioural Sc) DipBus DipHR,

    Director
    1. Department of Health and Human Services, Mental Health and Child Youth Services, Hobart, Tas., Australia
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  • C. Handley RN BaApp Sci M.Ed. FANZCMHN FCNA,

    Senior Lecturer
    1. Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tas., Australia
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  • M. Fitzgerald MNurs PhD RN FRCNA,

    Professor of Nursing
    1. School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia
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  • S. Hardy EdD ACHEP MSc BA (Hons) DPNS RMN RN

    Professor of Mental Health and Practice Innovation, Corresponding author
    1. Faculty of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University, London, UK
    • Correspondence:

      S. Hardy

      Mental Health and Learning Disabilities

      Faculty of Health and Social Care

      London Southbank University

      London SE1 OAA

      UK

      E-mail: sally.hardy.1@city.ac.uk

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Abstract

Accessible summary

  • Comparing three bespoke practice development (PD) projects reveals similarities in the principles of person-centred practice and cathartic personal growth, as relevant concepts to mental health.
  • PD offers a collaborative approach to practice-driven quality improvement initiatives suitable to the psychologically informed mental health context.
  • Creating a workplace culture that allows all involved to contribute to service improvement can be achieved through embracing a PD-driven change management strategy that aims to stimulate culturally sensitive care delivery.

Abstract

Practice development (PD) in mental health nursing has been progressing over the last decade; however, the level and impact of PD activity in the field of mental health remains poorly understood outside localized project impact. More specific reporting and comparative analysis of PD outcomes will improve this situation. In response, this paper presents three case scenarios from work taking place in Australia and New Zealand, as working examples of how PD methodologies have been applied within mental health practice settings. Using a comparative framework that captures the contributing assumptions, practices, processes and conditions imperative to effective PD work within a mental health-care context, three case vignettes are reviewed. The critical question driving this paper is ‘what mental health-care services does PD offer in terms of transformational change approaches and the promotion of effective workplace cultures?’ Conditions considered necessary for successful PD initiatives within mental health contexts are explored such as how PD converges and diverges with mental health-related theories, plus where and how PD activity best integrates with the specific elements associated with mental health-care provision. The findings are further reviewed in line with reports of PD outcomes from other fields of health care.

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