An exploratory study of the experiences of being both a mental health professional and carer in mental health services in Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionStain, H.J., Johannessen, O.J., Joa, I. (2020) An exploratory study of the experiences of being both a mental health professional and carer in mental health services in Norway. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 27(5), pp. 563-571. 10.1111/jpm.12607
4.1 Introduction Around 60% of carers of relatives with mental health problems report feeling unrecognized by professional health care, and many report a lack of engagement, shared decision‐making and information sharing. There is a paucity of research examining these issues for carers who are also mental health professionals. 4.2 Aims This was an exploratory study to (a) explore the extent of this role among health service staff, (b) gather an indication of the issues faced by carers when interacting with the health system and (c) test the feasibility of conducting research. 4.3 Methods Mental health professionals in mental health services completed an online survey that assessed the frequency, content and satisfaction of the experiences of carers. 4.4 Results The sample comprised 453 mental health professionals (74% female), 52% being carers. Half of carers reported having therapist contact, and 25% were satisfied with the contact. Negative experiences were related to Information, Decision‐making and Continuity of care. 4.5 Discussion There was a high frequency of mental health professionals who were carers. The majority were dissatisfied, and this was primarily in relation to communication with services. 4.6 Implications for practice Improving information sharing through training of staff and identification of the system barriers is likely to enhance experiences for service users and families.