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This paper reports on a research project which examines the feasibility of mental health nurses employing psychological therapies in the nursing care of people with severe mental illness. Attitudes towards current usage and factors influencing the adoption of psychological therapies are investigated. The paper addresses the gap in the Australian nursing literature regarding the therapeutic role of mental health nurses (MHN)s in relation to the use of evidence-based psychological therapies. This paper presents the findings from an online questionnaire survey of 528 practising MHNs in Australia. The findings demonstrate enthusiastic support among nurses towards employing psychological therapies, with 93% of respondents indicating they would like to use psychological therapies in their current practice. Correspondingly, there is strong demand for education and training in applying psychological therapies. A number of barriers to implementing psychological therapies are identified. It is noted that place of employment is a significant factor, with mental health nurses working in the public sector more likely to state institutional barriers are restricting their therapeutic potential and preventing them from implementing psychological therapies.

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Journal Article

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