Lim, Eric, Dianne Wynaden, & Karen Heslop (2020, October). Using Q-methodology to explore mental health nurses’ knowledge and skills to use recovery-focused care to reduce aggression in acute mental health settings. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. (ePub in advance of print) (doi: 10.1111/inm.12802) (Link:

Abstract: When nurses practise recovery-focused care, they contribute positively to the consumer’s mental health recovery journey and empower the person to be actively engaged in the management of their illness. While using recovery-focused care is endorsed in mental health policy, many health professionals remain uncertain about its application with consumers who have a risk for aggression during their admission to an acute mental health inpatient setting. This paper reports on Australian research using Q-methodology that examined the knowledge and skill components of recovery-focused care that nurses use to reduce the risk for aggression. The data from forty mental health nurses revealed five factors that when implemented as part of routine practice improved the recovery outcomes for consumers with risk of aggression in the acute mental health settings. These factors were as follows: (I) acknowledge the consumers’ experience of hospitalization; (II) reassure consumers who are going through a difficult time; (III) interact to explore the impact of the consumer’s negative lived experiences; (IV) support co-production to reduce triggers for aggression; and (V) encourage and support consumers to take ownership of their recovery journey. These findings provide nurses with a pragmatic approach to use recovery-focused care for consumers with risk for aggression and contribute positively to the consumer’s personal recovery.

Eric Lim <> is in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, Curtin University, Bentley, Perth, Western Australia.

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