Community psychiatric nurses’ experiences of caring for clients with borderline personality disorder
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Community psychiatric nurses’ experiences of caring for clients with borderline personality disorder

Bridget O’Connell Community mental health nurse, Shannon Day Hospital, Shannon, County Clare, Ireland
Maura Dowling Lecturer, National University of Ireland, Galway

Bridget O’Connell and Maura Dowling report on a study that gathered nurses’ views on working with this client group and suggest ways to improve care

Aim To explore the experience of psychiatric nurses who work in the community caring for clients with borderline personality disorder (BPD).

Method A qualitative design was adopted. Purposeful sampling was used and ten community psychiatric nurses underwent semi-structured interview. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.

Results The nurses’ understanding of BPD and their experiences of caring for individuals with the condition were varied. Participants identified a number of specific skills required when working with clients with BPD, but the absence of formal clinical supervision to support nurses was a particular difficulty, and training on BPD was lacking.

Conclusions Although community psychiatric nurses found working with these individuals challenging, they also reported on the rewards in seeing clients making progress.

Mental Health Practice. 17, 4, 27-33. doi: 10.7748/mhp2013.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 23 January 2013

Accepted: 01 March 2013

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