‘In some ways it all helps but in some ways it doesn’t’: The complexities of service users’ experiences of inpatient mental health care in Australia [2018]

Recovery‐oriented mental health care requires active involvement of service users in the evaluation of care. While experience of care surveys is routinely given out upon discharge, capturing the depth and detail of service users’ experiences in such a way to meaningfully improve services may require more in‐depth and targeted approaches. This study aimed to gather voluntary and involuntary service users’ experiences of care during hospitalization in two acute adult mental health inpatient units, through the collaborative completion of a purpose designed tool. The purpose of the study was to examine broad experiences of care and to identify the utility of proactive approaches to ongoing service evaluation. Overall, 67 participants were interviewed. Findings highlight the complexity of experiences of care including how an admission can seemingly facilitate clinical recovery while not being recovery‐oriented. The findings also detail areas for improvement in the way that care is delivered and evaluated. The implications are particularly pertinent for mental health nurses to consider how, within the existing constraints of their roles, they can provide therapeutic care to all service users.

Sophie Isobel RN, Grad Cert CFHN, CAMH, Res Meth

International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 13 June 2018