Part and parcel: A Qualitative Interview Study Examining the Experience of Client Rudeness by Mental Health Workers

Isabelle Harrison, Ceri Trevethan, Flawia Pasiack, Amy Louise Irwin* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Considerable research has demonstrated that workplace rudeness can have a variety of negative consequences. However, although research has examined the impact of patient aggression, no research has examined patient or client rudeness towards those who work in mental health roles. The present study investigated the nature of client rudeness, how mental health workers respond and the coping strategies used. Eighteen participants from a range of mental health roles and experience levels participated in semi-structured interviews based on their experience of client rudeness. Thematic analysis revealed that participants experienced a variety of client behaviours they classified as rude, the majority of which were verbal. Reasons for rudeness included the client’s personal history, mood, and mental health, and as such rudeness was conceptualised as simply a part of the job. Client rudeness was found to have both negative and positive outcomes on a range of areas including work and client relationships. Participants identified supervisors and colleagues as key sources of support for coping with rudeness. These findings suggest that rudeness is “part and parcel” of a mental health practitioner’s role. Supervisor support and further training are recommended to help practitioners deal with rudeness in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-131
Number of pages10
JournalIssues in Mental Health Nursing
Volume41
Issue number2
Early online date11 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • PATIENT AGGRESSION
  • WORKPLACE INCIVILITY
  • PERCEPTIONS
  • NURSES
  • DIFFICULT
  • PERFORMANCE
  • ENGAGEMENT
  • BEHAVIORS
  • ALLIANCE
  • EMPLOYEE

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