Development of mental health professionals on Strength Assessment for Adults with Severe Mental Illness in Department of Psychiatry of HKEC

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Authors (including presenting author) :
Sit HT, Cheng PYI, Chan TK, Shun KW
Affiliation :
Department of Psychiatry, Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital
Introduction :
In 2016, the importance of assessment on Needs, Risks and Strength is highlighted in the Service Framework of Personalized Care for Adults with Severe Mental Illness (SMI) in Hong Kong. Currently the Need-strength-risk(NSR) Assessment is widely adopted in Community Psychiatric Service (CPS) and the Integrated Community Centres for Mental Wellness (ICCMW). Strength Assessment especially plays an important role particularly in NSR Assessment, as the risk level of an individual is resulted from the balance of needs and strengths. In order to ensure the continuity of recovery care, it is good for all mental health professionals to equip the skills on Strength Assessment. With support from our senior management, a series of strategies specified on Strength Assessment for multi-disciplinary staff working in psychiatric units in HKEC was conducted in Oct 2018 and Dec 2018, including Strength Assessment training sessions and a practical guide to provide guiding and reference for staff when conducting Strength Assessment for adults with SMI.
Objectives :
The strategies aimed at (1) enhancing the concept and micro-skills of multi-disciplinary staff on conducting Strength Assessment; (2) introducing a clinical guide on conducting Strength Assessment for adults with SMI; and (3) promoting Strength Assessment among multi-disciplinary staff for effective clinical communications and continuity of recovery care.
Methodology :
10 hours of training on Strength Assessment was provided to 64 multi-disciplinary staff working in different psychiatric units in HKEC, including 5 ward managers, 10 advanced practice nurses, 30 registered nurses, 6 enrolled nurses, 5 occupation therapists, 2 assistant social work officers and 6 nursing students. Based on the fundamental NSR Assessment training, micro-skills of Strength Assessment were specifically educated to the attending front-line staff: (1) Drawing Timeline; (2) Exploration of Career Experience and (3) Identification of Supportive Network. The three skills were demonstrated through real case applications and participants were also asked to apply the skills on the examples given during the training. Participants were also asked to form small groups for discussions and presentations on strength identification of cases examples interactively. In addition, participants used cards with different illustrations as a tool in assisting patients to verbalize their potential strengths. A practical guide for Strength Assessment which covered the three micro-skills with examples was also given to the participant for reference after the training sessions. Participants were also encouraged to apply Strength Assessment on two of their own cases and undergo regular reviews for further feedback to modify and revise the practical guide by the end of Jan 2019.
Result & Outcome :
Majority of the participants reported the training was highly helpful for them to apply Strength Assessment on their cases. They reported effective and pleasurable learning through the interactive group discussions and presentations. Participants also found using cards with illustrations can enable the patients to identify their own strengths in a more alternative and easy way. The result indicated that multi-disciplinary staff were able to strengthen their skills and motivation to apply Strength Assessment upon providing the above strategies. Further feedback will be collect from the participants for future staff development program and practical guide modification.
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