Attitudes regarding mental health nurse prescribing among psychiatrists and nurses: A cross-sectional questionnaire study
Patel, M. X. , Robson, D. , Rance, J. , Ramirez, N. , Memonb, T. C. , Bressington, D. and Gray, R. (2009) Attitudes regarding mental health nurse prescribing among psychiatrists and nurses: A cross-sectional questionnaire study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 46 (11). pp. 1467-1474. ISSN 0020-7489
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2009.04.010
Background: In the United Kingdom, mental health nurses (MHNs) can independently prescribe medication once they have completed a training course. This study investigated attitudes to mental health nurse prescribing held by psychiatrists and nurses. Method: 119 MHNs and 82 psychiatrists working in South-East England were randomly sampled. Participants completed a newly created questionnaire. This included individual item statements with 6-point likert scales to test levels of agreement which were summated into 7 subscales. Results: Psychiatrists had significantly less favourable, albeit generally positive attitudes than MHNs regarding general beliefs (63% vs. 70%, p < 0.001), impact (62% vs. 70%, p < 0.001), uses (60% vs. 71%, p < 0.001), clinical responsibility (69% vs. 62%, p < 0.001) and legal responsibility (71% vs. 64%, p < 0.001). More MHNs than psychiatrists believed that nurse prescribing would be useful in emergency situations for rapid tranquilisation (82% vs. 37%, p < 0.001), and that the consultant psychiatrist should have ultimate clinical responsibility for prescribing by anMHN(42% vs. 28%, p < 0.001). Approximately half of all participants agreed nurse prescribing would create conflict in clinical teams. Conclusions: The majority of both groups were in favour of mental health nurse prescribing, although significantly more psychiatrists expressed concerns. This may be explained by a perceived change in power balance.
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