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Getting engaged: psychiatrists’ perspectives of engagement in mental health services

Hansen, Justin (2011) Getting engaged: psychiatrists’ perspectives of engagement in mental health services. University of Portsmouth.

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Abstract

Disengaging from the mental health services can have severely negative health and social outcomes for patients. Extensive quantitative research into the processes of engagement has acknowledged the importance of the therapeutic relationship to patients. Qualitative research into the constituents of what leads up to and makes good engagement with the mental health services are relatively rare and when carried out tend to concern the perspective of the patient without taking into account the views of the patient's clinician. In the present study ten psychiatrists perceptions of engagement were explored. Uniquely, these views were then compared with the experiences of their own mental health patients as reported by Chase et al. (2011). This is the first known qualitative study in which psychiatrists' and patients' views on engagement have been compared in this way. It was found that patients and psychiatrists both place great value on the therapeutic relationship, the quality of which can determine levels of engagement with the mental health services. It is also clear that psychiatrists and patients are not always in agreement over the direction they want their relationship to be heading.

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