The lived experience of acute mental health inpatient care: What's recovery got to do with it?

Bronwyn Hyde

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    2953 Downloads (Pure)


    This study explores the lived experience of acute mental health inpatient care and uncovers meanings attached to the notion of recovery in this setting by consumers, workers and managers. A number of questions are considered including how acute mental health inpatient care impacts on a person’s recovery and what facilitates recovery. In particular, consideration is given to practice implications for the social work profession. By purposively selecting participants, twenty four individual semi-structured interviews were conducted across three key groups – consumers, workers and managers. Hermeneutic phenomenological methodology including the use of a reflective journal was employed to explore the phenomenon of acute mental health inpatient care.

    Acknowledging the lived experience of workers and managers alongside that of consumers provides a new insight into mental health inpatient care and the meaning of recovery within this setting. Differences are noted between the key groups in how a period of inpatient care is experienced and in the understanding of recovery. These differences accord with current literature on recovery in mental health, however it is the similarities of experience shared by the three groups that are of particular note within this study. These similarities challenge the usual dichotomies found in mental health recovery literature especially clinical/personal, and expert by training/expert by experience. While these might be useful ways of describing different perspectives, they ignore the shared components of both the experience of inpatient care and the meaning of recovery. It is this shared space that provides a focus of practice change and reveals the potential for optimising the recovery experience within an acute inpatient setting. This study reveals the presence and power of the intersection, the shared space occupied by the three key groups.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Social Work
    Awarding Institution
    • Charles Sturt University
    • Bowles, Wendy, Principal Supervisor
    • Pawar, Manohar, Principal Supervisor
    Award date31 Jul 2017
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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