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Expanded practice roles for community mental health nurses : what do consumers and carers have to say?
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by S Elsom, E Manias, Brenda Happell
Community-based mental health as the primary focus of treatment has influenced more autonomous roles for mental health nurses. A limited literature suggests that this has resulted in the expansion of community mental health nursing into territory usually the exclusive domain of the medical profession. Consumers and carers are the two groups most affected by changes to service delivery; however, their views regarding the changing role of community mental health nurses have not been sought. This paper presents the findings of a qualitative study involving indepth interviews with Australian consumers (n = 4) and carers (n = 6) designed to explore their views and opinions about the expanded practice roles of community mental health nurses. Four main themes were identified: accessibility and convenience; relationship with clinicians; beneficiaries of expanded nursing practice; and, are nurses up to it? The findings suggest expanded practice roles are perceived positively by consumers and carers and therefore worthy of further investigation.