District nurses meeting with and providing care to people with mental illness in health centers – An interview study

Sandra Pennbrant, Kristin Hansen


Objective: Primary healthcare is facing increasing numbers of people with mental illness. Although district nurses are expected to promote health and prevent illness, most health centers in Western Sweden have no psychiatric nurses. The aim of this study was to explore how district nurses experience meeting with and providing care to patients with mental illness in health centers.
Methods: Eight individual, semi-structured interviews with district nurses working in health centers were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.
Results: The district nurses felt that it is challenging to meet with patients with mental illness and that they need to learn to master such situations better. In particular, interaction challenge when assessing the patient’s mental care needs, the dialogue challenge when attempting to achieve the patient’s trust, and the competence challenge when trying to determine correct and safe care for the patient.
Conclusions: District nurses would benefit from having specific guidelines on how to provide person-centered care to patients with mental illness. Such guidelines would help district nurses in their planning and facilitating meetings with patients with mental illness and in their efforts to find solutions adapted to the specific patient, thus increasing both the district nurses’ feelings of adequacy and the patient’s feelings of safety and trust.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/cns.v5n4p96


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Clinical Nursing Studies
ISSN 2324-7940(Print)   ISSN 2324-7959(Online)

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