City Research Online

‘‘What matters to me’’ and ‘service users’, carers’, and clinicians’ needs’ and experiences of therapeutic engagement on acute mental health wards

McAllister, S., Simpson, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-3286-9846, Tsianakas, V. & Roberts, G. (2021). ‘‘What matters to me’’ and ‘service users’, carers’, and clinicians’ needs’ and experiences of therapeutic engagement on acute mental health wards. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 30(3), pp. 703-714. doi: 10.1111/inm.12835


Nurse–patient therapeutic engagement on acute mental health wards is beneficial to service users’ outcomes and nurses’ job satisfaction. However, engagement is not always fulfilled in practice and interventions to improve engagement are sparse and ineffective. We explored the experiences of service users, carers, and clinicians drawing from 80 hours of non-participant observations in an acute mental health ward and semi-structured interviews with 14 service users, two carers, and 12 clinicians. Analysis of these data resulted in 28 touchpoints (emotionally significant moments) and eight overarching themes. Service users, carers, and clinicians identified a lack of high-quality, person-centred, collaborative engagement and recognized and supported efforts to improve engagement in practice. Potential solutions to inform future intervention development were identified. Our findings align with previous research highlighting negative experiences and support the need to develop multicomponent interventions through participatory methods.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: clinician experience, nurse–patient interaction, nursing interventions, patient experience, qualitative
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Mcallisterwhatmatters2021.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

Download (261kB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login