Staff attitudes towards inpatients with borderline personality disorder
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Staff attitudes towards inpatients with borderline personality disorder

Emma Jane Weight Nursing student, University of Manchester, Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
Sarah Kendal Researcher and lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Manchester

Further education in the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder and better communication with service users is needed to change negative staff attitudes towards patients with the condition, argue Emma Jane Weight and Sarah Kendal

This article discusses the negative attitudes of some nursing staff towards inpatients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD), from the perspective of a third-year mental health nursing student. Factors to support underlying nurses’ attitudes are considered, including stigma associated with BPD, the relationship between BPD and self-harm, clients being viewed as manipulative and nurses’ lack of optimism for client recovery. Work pressures, poor communication skills and time restraints also contribute to the poor care being delivered by some mental health nurses.

The authors suggest ways to improve staff attitudes, based on recommendations in the literature. Further education relating to BPD is discussed, as well as the need for increased supervision of mental health nurses and more time for effective communication between nurse, client and the multidisciplinary team.

Mental Health Practice. 17, 3, 34-38. doi: 10.7748/mhp2013.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 21 November 2012

Accepted: 19 December 2013

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