What are the benefits of a short therapeutic conversation intervention with acute psychiatric patients and their families? A controlled before and after study.
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CitationInt J Nurs Stud 2013, 50 (5):593-602
AbstractPsychiatric illness of a family member can have a serious impact on the entire family. In addition, these families are faced with psychological burdens and stigmas. Little is known about the effectiveness of family nursing interventions on patients and their families when a family member is admitted for psychiatric treatment. Few studies have been published where family nursing interventions are integrated into routine inpatient services.
To evaluate the effectiveness of implementing a therapeutic conversation intervention in acute inpatient psychiatry with families, by evaluating family perceived support, expressive family function and general well-being.
A controlled before and after study design was used. Patients and family members at four acute psychiatric units at a university hospital were selected for the implementation of family systems nursing (FSN). The nurses on one acute psychiatric unit were educated, trained, and supervised in a therapeutic conversation intervention built on the Calgary Family Assessment and Interventions models (Wright and Leahey, 2009). In the intervention group, 68 patients and 68 family members (N=136), received two-to-five therapeutic conversations with a nurse. The control groups were from three other acute units at the hospital, where 74 patients and 74 family members (N=148) received family nursing care as usual.
The main findings indicated that family members who received the short therapeutic conversation intervention were found to perceive significant higher cognitive and emotional support from the nurses than family members who received standard care.
The benefits of a specific short-term therapeutic conversation intervention are evident and valuable for nurses working in acute psychiatry. These positive results for families of psychiatric patients should not only encourage and propel clinical educators, clinical nurses and nurse researchers and other health professionals to develop and implement the therapeutic conversation intervention in acute psychiatric services but also be part of ritualized protocols of practice.
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RightsArchived with thanks to International journal of nursing studies
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