Binary construct analysis of forensic psychiatric nursing in the UK: High, medium, and low security services

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The aim of this study was to identify if differences in perceptions of the role of forensic psychiatric nurses exist across the three levels of secure psychiatric provision: high, medium, and low. Any differences may reflect the type of clinical conditions found in different levels of security provision. An information-gathering schedule containing a validated 7-point Likert scale was distributed to 1200 forensic psychiatric nurses across the UK in 2005. A response rate of 34.6 was achieved, with 122 from high-security, 159 from medium-security, and 135 from low-security services. Differences in perceptions regarding role constructs were found across all three levels, with numerous differences being statistically significant using analysis of variance. The main implications are in relation to the development of skills and competencies, which should target specific clinical conditions in relation to effective interventions, the development of a specialist education and training curriculum focused on treatment outcomes, and the need for further research to draw together theory and practice. Finally, creative policy initiatives should be developed to cross-fertilize the levels of security provision in order that staff may acquire and deliver experiences in high-, medium-, and low-security psychiatric services.

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