Experiences of an adolescent inpatient model of care: Adolescent and caregiver perspectives

Claire Hayes, Magenta Simmons, Victoria J. Palmer, Bridget Hamilton, Christine Simons, Malcolm Hopwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Problem: Adolescent inpatient units have been studied regarding their effectiveness, yet little is known about the experiences of young people who are admitted and their caregivers. It is important to address this gap to understand adolescent inpatient models of care and therapeutic outcomes to maximize the benefit. Our aim was to explore adolescent and caregivers' experiences of an inpatient model of care (MoC) and perceived helpfulness. Methods: A longitudinal prospective qualitative design was utilized. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 16 adolescents and 12 caregivers at T1 (admission), T2 (discharge), and T3 (6 months postdischarge). Data were analysed first thematically and then using trajectory analysis. Themes from the three time-points are presented from the combined perspectives of adolescents and caregivers. Findings: Experiences described followed a recovery narrative consisting of three key phases which included, “waiting for help” (T1), “help arrived” (T2), and having “returned to regular life” (T3). The overarching trajectory theme was a “winding road to recovery.”. Conclusion: Findings provide insights into the lived experiences from adolescents who have had an inpatient stay and their caregivers of an adolescent-specific inpatient MoC. These findings can help conceptualize quality adolescent models of care for young people and their families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-124
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • adolescent
  • inpatient
  • model of care

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