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Title: The experience of female patients suffering from depression and substance abuse.
Authors: Cassar, Josephine
Keywords: Depression in women
Substance abuse -- Treatment
Women patients
System safety
Mental health -- Malta
Issue Date: 2011
Citation: Cassar J. (2011). The experience of female patients suffering from depression and substance abuse (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: Patient safety is an emerging issue in mental health that has only recently received attention. Whilst patient safety has moved to the forefront of the health care agenda nationally and internationally there is to date a shortage of research to guide patient safety systems, practices, policies and care delivery in mental health. The aim of the study was to explore the prevailing knowledge and attitudes of staff in a mental health setting with regards to patient safety. To achieve this aim, the following objectives were set: to identify the knowledge, practices and attitudes of different categories of workers employed within the mental health hospital; to identify prevalent risks to health and safety; to identify existing policies, protocols or documents within the hospital and obtain feedback from staff regarding their utility in upholding patient safety. The literature review focused on six patient safety incidents in mental health setting. These included: patient victimization; aggression and self-harm; seclusion and restraint; slips and falls; absconding and missing patients and adverse medication events. An exploratory design making use of qualitative methods was used. Data was collected through a focus group discussion and through personal interviews with experienced personnel working in a mental health setting in Malta. Semi-structured interviews were audio-recorded. A topic guide guided the questions in the interviews and focus group followed by specific topics that were raised by the participants. Thematic analysis which involved the search for themes was considered appropriate for this study. It involved the systematic qualitative analysis of transcripts of semi-structured interviews conducted with participants and a focus group. Several findings emerged from the research pertaining to planning, policies, guidelines, practices and research. The findings suggested that for patient safety in mental health to improve, a safety culture needs to be embedded within all levels of an organization. It requires leadership, effective communication, service integration and inter-professional collaboration. Further, it requires ongoing training and education programs to all health care workers, better reporting of incidents, better documentation and handover system. Moreover, the impact of stigma against mental illness was also revealed. Finally, this research study identified several potential important future directions for improving patient safety in mental health setting. A link between patient safety and service availability, quality of care and mental illness stigma was found. The main recommendations that have emerged from the findings are suggestions for management, for education and for future research. Therefore, promoting a culture of patient safety, involving various multidisciplinary workers and professionals in the organisation will improve patient safety in mental health setting.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacHSc - 2011

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