Thai psychiatric nurses' experiences and perceptions of the professional role when caring for older people displaying depressive symptoms

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Publication Details
Author list: Kleebthong, Duangkaew; Kristiansen, Lisbeth
Publication year: 2018
Start page: 45
End page: 59
Number of pages: 15
ISSN: 2162-5336


Purpose: The aim of this study was to describe Thai psychiatric nurses’ experiences and perceptions of their professional role when caring for older people whom displayed symptoms of clinical depression. Methods: A qualitative descriptive research design was used. Thirteen psychiatric nurses working in the field of mental health and psychiatric nursing at a rural district hospital were purposively included. The data were collected through in-depth, face to face interviews and analyzed using qualitative latent content analysis. Results: All participants were female, and the mean age was 43 years, and the mean experience of caring for mentally ill patients was 8.3 years. The psychiatric nurses’ experiences and perceptions of their professional role were mirrored in the following themes: 1) managing a central role in the care of the patients; 2) conflicting interests between the professional needs of caregiving and other requests; and 3) being compassionate beyond the profession. Conclusion: The psychiatric nurses were challenged by the complexity of the caregiving situations and the partners involved in the process of caring for older people with depression. Professionally, the psychiatric nurses played an important role in preventive care and managerial work. They underwent stress under the influence of stakeholders, but they also contributed to the holistic patient care. Health service authorities may use these results to develop plans for psychiatric nurses in managing a central role and in advocating for holistic care to mitigate the influence of stakeholders to enhance quality of caring for older individuals with depression.

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