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Closing an Open Psychiatric Ward: Organizational Change and Its Effect on Staff Uncertainty, Self-Efficacy, and Professional Functioning


  • Conflict of Interest Statement
  • The authors report no actual or potential conflicts of interest.

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Converting an open psychiatric ward to a closed one can be threatening and stressful for the medical and nursing staff involved. This study describes the effects of this change, in particular the before–after correlation among self-efficacy, professional functioning, and uncertainty.

Design and Methods

Forty-four staff participated, completing pre-/poststructured questionnaires.


Uncertainty was higher before the conversion than after the conversion. Professional functioning declined after the conversion. Self-efficacy was positively correlated with pre- and postconversion functioning, but negatively correlated with postconversion uncertainty.

Practice Implications

It is important to prepare staff for this significant organizational change. Suggestions for prechange interventions are offered.