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J Adv Nurs. 1994 Jul;20(1):53-60.

British nurses in behavioural psychotherapy: a 20-year follow-up.

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  • 1Institute of Nursing Studies, University of Hull, England.


A postal survey was carried out of all nurse behaviour therapists trained on the English National Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting course in adult behavioural psychotherapy (ENB 650) since its inception at Maudsley Hospital London, in 1972. All trained therapists currently in practice in the UK were surveyed, and 113 of 142 eligible respondents returned questionnaires. These were examined to elicit the professional profiles and working practices of the therapists, and to identify similarities and differences between therapists trained in the four training centres in the UK. It was found that the majority of nurse therapists remain in clinical practice after training, and continue to further their education and clinical expertise. There has been a general shift towards cognitive and short-term interventions, and towards practice based on primary care, with general practitioners providing most referrals. There were significant differences between the centres in terms of a number of the therapeutic techniques used, diagnostic categories of clients seen, and several elements of working practice, including referral source and numbers of clients seen and treated. The implications of the findings for clinical practice and for nursing in behaviour therapy are discussed.

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