Recent mental health policy has focused on developing community-based services, but the reality remains that patients experiencing acute episodes of illness are mainly cared for in hospital settings. Acute Mental Health Nursing has been developed as a guide to the core knowledge and skills required for working in inpatient settings.
Psychosocial interventions describe the complex activities undertaken by clinicians and services that focus upon improving the health and social situation of clients who suffer from severe mental illness (Baguley and Baguley, 1999). These interventions have been found to have positive effects for patients in terms of relapse rates (measured by admissions to hospital and outcome measurements), symptom reduction and improved social functioning (Lancashire et al., 1996).
The interventions can be split into three broad areas: early intervention and relapse planning, individual cognitive behavioural interventions for psychosis, and family interventions. This chapter describes these interventions in more detail and suggests how they can be adapted for use by nurses and other professionals working in acute in-patient areas.
Serious and enduring mental illnesses such as schizophrenia ...