Mental health clinicians' attitudes about consumer and consumer consultant participation in Australia: A cross-sectional survey design

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess mental health clinicians' attitudes about mental health consumer participation in inpatient psychiatric units. A cross-sectional survey design was used with a non-probability sample of 47 clinicians in the psychiatric units of a large Australian hospital. The results showed that gender, length of time as a clinician, and how long the staff worked in the units influenced their attitudes about consumer involvement. Females were more likely than males to support consumer participation in management and consumer consultants. Less experienced staff showed greater support than more experienced staff for mental health consumer involvement in treatment-related matters and consumer consultants in units. New staff members were more likely to register agreement-to-uncertainty regarding consumer involvement in treatment-related issues, whereas established staff members were more likely to record uncertainty about this issue. The findings showed that although reports and policies promoted participation, some clinicians were reluctant to accept consumer and consultant involvement.

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