The experiences of inpatient nursing staff caring for young people with early psychosis


Background: Early intervention services aim to improve outcomes for people with first episode psychosis and, where possible, to prevent psychiatric hospital admission. When hospitalisation does occur, inpatient staff are required to support patients and families who may be less familiar with services, uncertain about possible outcomes, and may be experiencing a psychiatric hospital for the first time. Aims: Our study aimed to understand the process of hospitalisation in early psychosis, from the perspective of inpatient nursing staff. We were particularly interested in their experiences of working with younger people in the context of adult psychiatric wards. Methods: Nine inpatient nursing staff took part in semi-structured interviews, which were transcribed and then analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results: Five themes are outlined: ‘it’s all new and it’s all learning’; the threatening, unpredictable environment; care and conflict within the intergenerational relationship; motivation and hope; and coping and self-preservation. Conclusions: The phenomenological focus of our approach throws the relational component of psychiatric nursing into sharp relief. We reflect on the implications for organisations, staff, families and young people. We suggest that the conventional mode of delivering acute psychiatric inpatient care is not likely to support the best relational and therapeutic outcomes.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: © Sage 2019. The final publication is available via Sage at
Uncontrolled Keywords: acute care,burnout,hope,inpatient,phenomenology,psychosis,young adult,Research and Theory
Publication ISSN: 1744-9871
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2024 07:44
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 12:56
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Related URLs: https://journal ... 744987118818857 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2019-03-05
Accepted Date: 2018-10-15
Authors: Thompson, Jessica
Boden, Zoë V.R.
Newton, Elizabeth
Fenton, Kelly
Hickman, Gareth
Larkin, Michael (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-3304-7000)



Version: Accepted Version

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