Psychotropic medicines are used frequently in mental health settings; however, concerns have been raised over the safety and lack of evidence of effectiveness of this practice. Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust conducted a survey exploring the non-pharmacological interventions used by nurses to support agitated service users. It used their responses to create a clinical aid that maps out suggested interventions under the themes of physical health, relaxation, distraction, environment and psychological health.
The survey by GMMHT explored non-pharmacological interventions as alternatives to pro re nata (as-required) psychotropic medication in mental health settings. This article explores its results, which have been developed into a clinical aid suggesting possible interventions.
A total of 34 distinct non-pharmacological interventions were identified, which fell under five themes: physical health, relaxation, distraction, environment and psychological interventions. Our analysis of the free-text comments revealed how the interventions and themes interacted and overlapped, which enabled us to develop a thematic map of nurse-led interventions as an alternative to PRN psychotropic medication (Fig 1). This is a visual schematic map for use by both staff and service users to allow them to identify non-pharmacological interventions that could be used in a moment of crisis, as well as to identify those interventions that the service user would not find helpful. We discuss the map’s five themes below, with reference to both survey responses and supporting literature.
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Source: Nursing Times, 22nd February 2021