A qualitative study exploring the support experienced by staff members following client related violence in inpatient mental health units

Fell, Elizabeth
A qualitative study exploring the support experienced by staff members following client related violence in inpatient mental health units. Doctor of Clinical Psychology thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Aim To explore mental health inpatient staff members’ experiences of the support they have received following client related aggressive incidents. Background Mental health inpatient staff members are exposed to verbal and physical violence and aggression from their clients. It is important to understand how staff make sense of their experiences, the support they receive and what support they would prefer following future aggressive incidents. Design A single-cohort study employing qualitative, in-depth interviews. Qualitative thematic analysis was conducted within a social constructionist perspective. Methods A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews conducted in 2013 in the North West of England. Fourteen mental health inpatient unit staff were recruited using purposive sampling. Findings Thematic analysis identified five overarching themes: opportunities for reflection, making sense, staff self-esteem, feeling valued, and avoidant coping strategies. A thematic map was created to demonstrate the relationships between these themes, and their relevant subthemes. Conclusion: Inpatient mental health staff requested opportunities to reflect as a source of support after incidents of violence and aggression, and for management to acknowledge these difficult experiences. Participants suggested that their professional self-esteem and interaction with clients could be positively affected if they were given an opportunity to reflect after violent and aggressive incidents. Staff self-esteem was further influenced by feeling valued by management and other teams. If opportunities for reflection and managerial support are not provided there may be an increased risk that staff will rely on avoidant coping strategies. Further research could explore the relationships between the concepts of support described in this study.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Clinical Psychology)
Additional Information: Date: 2014-06-09 (completed)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Acknowledgement, aggression, avoidant coping, nurses, inpatient, mental health, qualitative, reflection, support
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Population Health
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2015 15:44
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2022 00:13
DOI: 10.17638/00019833
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/19833