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J Adv Nurs. 2001 Jul;35(1):88-96.

Meeting the needs of consumers in the community: a working partnership in mental health in New Zealand.

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  • 1Department of Psychological Medicine, Christchurch School of Medicine, Christchurch, New Zealand.



The aim was to evaluate whether the services community mental health nurses provide are meeting the needs of consumers in the community.


The role of the mental health nurse in the community is changing as a result of deinstitutionalization, the consumer movement and the market model of health care delivery. In this context it is important for mental health nurses to evaluate whether the service they are currently providing is meeting the needs of consumers.


This was a joint project between nurses and consumers. It was a service-specific descriptive research project utilizing qualitative methods of data collection and analysis that provides a model for working in partnership.


The results of this research identify collaboration in planning care and sharing information as two areas of concern but generally the consumers were very satisfied with the care provided by community mental health nurses. The analysis of the data suggests that consumers value nursing care because nurses provide support in their own home; they help consumers develop strategies for coping with their illness and their life; they provide practical assistance when it is required; they are vigilant about any deterioration or improvement; and they are available and accessible.


The results of this study have demonstrated that nurses will remain critical to the success of community-based care because of their ability and willingness to be flexible to the demands of their own organization and the users of services.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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