Staff views on reflective practice groups in an inpatient assessment and treatment unit for people with intellectual disabilities

Published date21 March 2023
Date21 March 2023
Subject MatterHealth & social care,Learning & intellectual disabilities
AuthorCorinne Green,Reed Cappleman
Staff views on reective practice groups in
an inpatient assessment and treatment
unit for people with intellectual disabilities
Corinne Green and Reed Cappleman
Purpose Although it is recommendedthat reflective practice groups (RPGs)are used to support staff
in inpatient intellectual disability (ID) services, there is to date no research on their effectiveness or how
staff perceive RPGs in these settings. This paper aims to evaluate staff perceptions of the RPGs in an
assessment and treatment unitfor people with ID and to ascertain the nature of any barriers for staff in
attendingthe group.
Design/methodology/approach Thirteen staff completed questionnaires ascertaining their viewson
the purpose, processand impact of the RPG run within the service. Questionnaires includeda version of
the clinical supervisionevaluation questionnaire (CSEQ; Hortonet al., 2008) adapted for this context and
a questionnairedesigned by the authors examiningbarriers to attending the group.
Findings Staff responses indicated that they valued the group and perceived it as improving their
clinical practice and theirself-awareness. Staff did not always perceive groupsessions as having clear
aims and did not perceive the group as enhancing their well-being or their awareness of gaps in their
skills. RPGs may be most effective if they form part of a service-wide approach to staff support and
Originality/value To the best of the authors’ knowledge,this is the first evaluation of RPGs in inpatient
ID services.The adapted CSEQ was found to be an easily implemented methodof evaluating RPGs in an
inpatientID setting.
Keywords Nursing, Intellectual disabilities, Reflective practice, Inpatient services, Staff well-being,
Staff support
Paper type Research paper
Health-care regulatory bodies such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council and Health and
Care Professions Council stipulate registrants must show evidence of reflection on practice
as a requirement of registration and revalidation (NMC, 2019;HCPC, 2021). One way in
which registrants can practice such reflection is through attendance at reflective practice
groups (RPGs), which aim to foster professionals’ ability to reflect on their work to improve
patient care (Association of ClinicalPsychologists, 2022).
Kurtz (2019) suggests that RPGs may have the impact of fostering better relationships
within teams and instilling a more reflective workplace culture. Patrick et al. (2021) review
the literature on outcomes from RPGs in a range of settings, highlighting findings from
children’s service that RPGs give staff time to “stop and think” and process their emotional
responses to emotionally demanding work (Lees, 2017) and findings from work with
postgraduate nurses that indicated RPG attendance increased participants’ confidence in
questioning the “status quo” and improved their ability to think creatively (Platzer et al.,
Corinne Green is based at
the Doctoral Programme in
Clinical Psychology, Cardiff
University, Cardiff, UK.
Reed Cappleman is based
at Learning Disabilities
Directorate, Aneurin Bevan
University Health Board,
Cwmbran, UK.
Received 30 November 2022
Revised 12 February 2023
Accepted 15 February 2023
The authors would like to thank
Dylan John for his assistance
with data collection.
DOI 10.1108/AMHID-11-2022-0045 VOL. 17 NO. 2 2023, pp. 73-83, ©Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 2044-1282 jADVANCES IN MENTAL HEALTH AND INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES jPAGE 73

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