Longitudinal evaluation of a programme for safety culture change in a mental health service

Geoffrey L. Dickens*, Yenna Salamonson, Alisha Johnson, Lucie Ramjan, Kelly Steel, Michelle Taylor, Bronwyn Everett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract: Aim: To evaluate whether a two‐part culture improvement programme aimed at nurses in clinical and managerial positions in an inpatient mental health service was associated with culture change, and safety‐related behaviour and knowledge improvements. Background: Due to serious failings in the delivery of physiological care to mentally disordered inpatients, it was deemed important that interventions be applied to improve service culture. Methods: A pre‐test and post‐test study was conducted to evaluate change associated with a mandated intervention aimed at culture change. Nurses in clinical and managerial positions at all levels attended relevant sessions. All were invited to participate in evaluation measures. Results: N = 241 nurses participated in the evaluation (n = 137 and n = 104, pre‐test and post‐test, respectively). There was a small but significant change in organisational culture indicating greater adhocracy and less clan culture in the second survey period and a small decline in reported safety behaviour. Measures of safety culture, knowledge and emergency‐related educational satisfaction were unchanged. Conclusion: Only a small change in measured culture was associated with the programme. Implications for Nursing Management: Attempts to evaluate culture change need to align anticipated outcomes with appropriate outcome measures. A mandated programme of culture change had little tangible effect on the outcomes measured.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-698
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nursing Management
Issue number4
Early online date22 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2021
Externally publishedYes


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