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Facilitating parent–child and family connections during parental hospitalization provides important opportunities for mental health services to support individual and family recovery. Nurses are often the primary point of contact for families in the inpatient context. They play an integral role in the care provision of consumers and families and in supporting consumers’ recovery. The aim of the present qualitative study was to explore nurses’ practice with families in inpatient mental health settings in the context of designated family rooms. Three themes were derived from the thematic analysis of semistructured interviews with 20 nurses from four mental health inpatient units. Nurses experienced tensions within their roles in balancing safety and risk, a lack of confidence in family-focused practices in relation to role expectations, and challenges in juggling nursing care ideals with the contemporary realities of inpatient practice. A family-centred relational recovery approach is recommended for mental health services, which is underpinned by family-focused policies and processes, and supported at an organizational, managerial, and localunit level. At an individual level, nurses need professional development on the models of care they practice in, explicit role clarity on their practice with families, and education on evidence-based brief family interventions.


School of Nursing, Midwifery & Paramedicine

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Journal Article

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