Experiences of acute care by persons with mental health problems: an integrative literature review

Manuela Schmidt, Timurs Umans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


AIM: The provision of acute care to persons with mental health problems is challenging due to difficulties in encountering this group and the vulnerability of these persons. Understanding this group's experiences with acute care is thus an important endeavor. The purpose of this review was to critically and systematically identify and assess previous research on experiences of acute care by persons with mental health problems, guided by Donabedian's structure-process-outcome framework (Prospero ID: CRD42019116652).

METHOD AND RESULTS: An integrative literature review was performed, resulting in the identification of 43 studies. The search was conducted using five electronic databases: Web of Science Core, PubMed, Medline, Cinahl, and PsycInfo.

DISCUSSION: The review revealed that patients experienced structure components such as setting, staff, and resources in a predominantly negative way. A predominately negative picture also emerged of the process components, where for example communication and interpersonal relations were represented by negative experiences, with limited positive experiences reported. The outcome components, related to patients' satisfaction and their well-being after discharge, were also negatively experienced.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Using Donabedian's framework of structure, process, and outcome allowed us to systematize the literature reviewed, to identify the research gaps, and to suggest ways forward for the field's development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-806
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Health Sciences (303)


  • Patient experience
  • acute mental health
  • emergency psychiatry
  • integrative review


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