Health professionals’ experiences of person-centered collaboration in mental health care
Rita Sommerseth, Elin Dysvik
University of Stavanger, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Health Studies, Stavanger, Norway
Objective: The basic aim in this paper is to discuss health care professionals’ experiences of person-centered collaboration and involvement in mental health rehabilitation and suggest ways of improving this perspective. Furthermore, the paper explains the supportive systems that are at work throughout the process of rehabilitation.
Method: The study design is a qualitative approach using three focus group interviews with a total of 17 informants with different professional backgrounds such as nurses, social workers, and social pedagogies. In addition, one nurse and one social worker participated in a semistructured in-depth interview to judge validity.
Results: Our results may demonstrate deficits concerning mental health care on several levels. This understanding suggests firstly, that a person-centered perspective and involvement still are uncommon. Secondly, multidisciplinary work seems uncommon and only sporadically follows recommendations. Thirdly, family support is seldom involved. Lastly, firm leadership and knowledge about laws and regulations seems not to be systematically integrated in daily care.
Conclusion: Taking these matters together, the improvement of a person-centered perspective implies cooperation between different services and levels in mental health care. In order to bring about improvement the health care workers must critically consider their own culture, coordination of competence must be increased, and leadership at an institutional and organizational level must be improved so that scarce rehabilitation resources are used to the optimal benefit of people with a mental illness.
Keywords: multidisciplinary teams, person-centered collaboration, supportive systems, rehabilitation
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