Involving mental health consumers in nursing handover: A qualitative study of nursing views of the practice and its implementation [2020]

Nursing handover occurs between shifts and is an important means of communication and information exchange around consumer care. The involvement of consumers in nursing handover, known as ‘bedside handover’, is well established within general health settings and promotes a patient‐centred approach to care. Bedside handover represents an opportunity for mental health settings to consolidate recovery‐oriented principles, albeit with some unique challenges in the way that involving consumers in nursing handover is implemented. This qualitative descriptive study explores the views of nursing staff and nursing managers about involving consumers in nursing handover and the process of implementation across five mental health inpatient units in Australia. The study took place in a local health district covering regional and rural areas of New South Wales that had issued a directive to implement bedside handover. The consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ) checklist was applied to this study. Six focus groups were held with nursing staff (n = 22), and eleven individual interviews were undertaken with nursing managers to explore their perceptions of bedside handover and its implications for nursing practice. The data were analysed using thematic analysis. Data from focus groups and interviews were analysed separately and then combined to generate three themes: (i) the mental health context is different; (ii) protecting consumer privacy and confidentiality; and (iii) it might make things worse. The findings provide insights into both the challenges, and the process of involving consumers in nursing handover within mental health settings and provides guidance for future implementation.

Antony Mullen, Katryna Harman, Karen Flanagan, Beth O’Brien, Sophie Isobel
International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 16 July 2020