Views of mental health consumers about being involved in nursing handover on acute inpatient units

Michael Olasoji, Virginia Plummer, Fiona Reed, Sini Jacob, Liam Shaw, Michelle Shanti, Wendy Cross

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13 Citations (Scopus)


The involvement of consumers in handover with nurses has been identified as reducing miscommunication and a reduction in adverse events in generalist nursing settings. Mental health (MH) care is complex, and handover practices need to fit with the philosophy of recovery-focussed practice. Recovery-focussed practice recognizes the person at the centre of care as an expert in their own treatment and decision-making. The aim of the present study was to explore the views of consumers with a mental illness, without prior involvement in nursing handover, about their need to be involved in nursing handover on an acute mental health inpatient unit. Using an exploratory descriptive, qualitative design (n = 11), participants who were receiving care in an acute inpatient unit were recruited using purposive convenience sampling. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and analysed using thematic analysis. Participants' diagnoses were schizophrenia (n = 6), bipolar affective disorder (n = 4), and depression (n = 1). Two themes emerged from the interviews: (i) behind closed doors; and (ii) being involved. Several subthemes were also identified. The first theme, behind closed doors, had two subthemes: (i) it is about us; and (ii) knowing their thoughts. The second theme had three subthemes: (i) clarifying issues; (ii) setting expectations; and (iii) when and how. Nursing handover on the acute inpatient unit offers a good opportunity for consumers to take an active role in the delivery of nursing care. There is a need to rethink the way nursing handover occurs to include consumers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-755
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


  • Bedside handover
  • Consumer
  • Inpatient unit
  • Nursing handover
  • Recovery

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