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Recovery-Oriented Care in a Secure Mental Health Setting: “Striving for a Good Life”

McKenna, Brian RN, BA, MHSc, PhD1,2; Furness, Trentham PhD1,2; Dhital, Deepa PhD1,2; Park, Malcolm RN, GradDipPN2; Connally, Fiona RN, GradDipPN

doi: 10.1097/JFN.0000000000000027
Original Articles

ABSTRACT Recovery-oriented care acknowledges the unique journey of the consumer to regain control of his or her life in order to live a good life. Recovery has become a dominant policy-directed model of mental health service delivery. Even services that have traditionally been institutional and custodial have been challenged to embrace a recovery-oriented model. The aim of this qualitative study was to provide a description of service delivery in a secure in-patient mental health service, which has developed a self-professed recovery-oriented model of service delivery. An in-depth case study of the secure in-patient service using an exploratory research design was undertaken to meet the aim of this study. Qualitative data was gathered from interviews with consumers and staff (n = 15) and a focus group with carers (n = 5). Data were analyzed using a content analysis approach. Ethical approval for the study was obtained. The stakeholders readily described the secure service within recovery domains. They described a common vision; ways to promote hope and autonomy; examples of collaborative partnership which enhanced the goal of community integration; a focus on strength-based, holistic care; and the management of risk by taking calculated risks. Discrepancies in the perceptions of stakeholders were determined. This case study research provides a demonstrable example of recovery-in-action in one secure mental health service in Australia. It is intended to assist mental health services and clinicians seeking guidance in developing strategies for building and maintaining partnerships with consumers and carers in order for secure services to become truly recovery-oriented.

Author Affiliations: 1School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, Australian Catholic University, Fitzroy, Australia. 2NorthWestern Mental Health, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Australia.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: Brian McKenna, RN, BA, MHSc, PhD, NorthWestern Mental Health, Level 1 North, City Campus, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Grattan Street, Parkville, Victoria, Australia 3050. E-mail:

Received March 23, 2014; accepted for publication March 31, 2014.

© 2014 by the International Association of Forensic Nurses. All rights reserved.
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