Time Together: A nursing intervention in psychiatric inpatient care: Feasibility and effects

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Abstract

The facilitation of quality time between patients and staff in psychiatric inpatient care is useful to promote recovery and reduce stress experienced by staff. However, interventions are reported to be complex to implement and are poorly described in the literature. This multisite study aimed to evaluate the feasibility and effects of the nursing intervention Time Together, using mixed methods. Data consisted of notes from participant observations and logs to evaluate feasibility, and questionnaires to evaluate effects. The primary outcome for patients was quality of interactions, and for staff, it was perceived stress. The secondary outcome for patients was anxiety and depression symptom levels, and for staff, it was stress of conscience. Data were analysed using visual analysis, percentage of nonoverlapping data, and qualitative content analysis. The results showed that Time Together was a feasible intervention, but measurements showed no effects on the two patient outcomes: quality of interactions and anxiety and depressive symptoms and, questionable effects on perceived stress and stress of conscience among staff. Shared responsibility, a friendly approach, and a predictable structure enabled Time Together, while a distant approach and an unpredictable structure hindered the intervention. In conclusion, the intervention proved to be feasible with potential to enable quality interactions between patients and staff using the enabling factors as supportive components. It also had some effects on perceived stress and stress of conscience among staff. Further evaluation is needed to build on the evidence for the intervention.

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