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Improving mental health care for older people within a general hospital in the UK

Harrison, Anthony; Brandling, Janet


Anthony Harrison

Janet Brandling


This article describes a participatory action research study aimed at improving the care of older people with mental health needs who are cared for in an older people's unit of a general hospital in the UK. A multicollaborative and interpretivist action research approach was adopted, whereby the researchers, managers, clinical staff, patients, and carers came together to identify the problems and their potential solutions. Focus groups, interviews, and observations of care were used to collect the data and to inform the action and development cycles and a grounded theory approach was used to analyze these data and to develop theoretical descriptions regarding the dynamics that occur within this setting. Four overarching themes were identified as contributing to the theoretical understanding of this type of care: cultural knowledge, contextual reality, giving care, and coping with "the problem". Understanding the theoretical elements is of importance in assisting nurses, and others, to consider care that is person-centred. © 2009 The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.


Harrison, A., & Brandling, J. (2009). Improving mental health care for older people within a general hospital in the UK. Nursing and Health Sciences, 11(3), 293-300.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2009
Journal Nursing and Health Sciences
Print ISSN 1441-0745
Electronic ISSN 1442-2018
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 3
Pages 293-300
Keywords action research, grounded theory, older people, mental health care
Public URL
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