Lived-experience participation in nurse education:Reducing stigma and enhancing popularity

Brenda HAPPELL, LOUISE BYRNE, Chris PLATANIA-PHUNG, Scott Harris, Julie Bradshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Mental health nursing consistently emerges as less popular than other specialties, and both service users and mental health practitioners are affected by negative attitudes. Education is fundamental to attracting students to the field of mental health nursing. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of undergraduate mental health curricula on student attitudes to people with mental illness, and career interest in mental health nursing. A traditional mental health course was compared to a course delivered by a person with lived experience of mental illness (and mental health service use) for its impact on student attitudes and career intentions in mental health nursing (cohort 1: n = 70, cohort 2: n = 131, respectively). In both cohorts, attitudes were measured via self-report, before and after the course, and changes were investigated through within-subjects t-tests. The lived experience-led course demonstrated statistically-significant positive changes in intentions to pursue mental health nursing and a decrease in negative stereotypes, which were not observed in the traditional course. The valuable contribution of mental health nursing emerged in the traditional, but not lived-experience-led, programmes. These findings support the value of an academic with lived experience of mental health challenges in promoting attraction to mental health nursing as a career option
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-434
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Lived-experience participation in nurse education:Reducing stigma and enhancing popularity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this