Positive behaviour support: exploring the experiences of nurses
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Positive behaviour support: exploring the experiences of nurses

Darren Savarimuthu Preceptorship and mentorship lead, Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust, London, England

Background Positive behaviour support (PBS) has become an important and useful framework in the care of patients with behaviours that challenge. However, there is a lack of evidence that explores nurses’ experiences of PBS in clinical practice.

Aim To explore the experiences of nurses using PBS to contribute towards the existing body of evidence on PBS.

Method Six registered practitioners comprising four mental health and two learning disability nurses were interviewed using semi-structured interviews. The data were analysed by hermeneutic phenomenology and themes were developed through thematic analysis.

Findings Six themes were identified: training, resources, psychology-led practice, restrictive practices, communication and effectiveness. Nurses described PBS as an effective framework in the management of behaviours that challenge, and identified communication and leadership as essential elements.

Conclusion There is a lack of resources, which can potentially compromise the delivery of PBS. The PBS framework is mostly psychology led. However, nurses often find themselves caring for people with behaviours that challenge and should be encouraged to take a lead in the formulation of PBS plans and their delivery.

Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2019.e1384

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Savarimuthu D (2019) Positive behaviour support: exploring the experiences of nurses. Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2019.e1384

Published online: 09 July 2019

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