Educating psychiatric nurses in cognitive behavioral therapy for adolescent patients: a quality improvement project

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Nursing


It is estimated that 20% of adolescents have a diagnosable mental health disorder. However, there is a deficit of providers that are available to treat this population. This gap in care can potentially be mitigated by increasing mental health caregivers' education on therapeutic interventions. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is considered to be the gold standard of care for the population of adolescent mental health patients. This project set out to educate nurses working on an inpatient adolescent unit on topics of evidence-based CBT and adolescent group therapy. Nurses interacted in a 3-hour educational intervention that reviewed topics of CBT, group therapy with adolescents, and the Creating Opportunity for Empowerment (COPE) program. Additionally, the nurses participated in a role-playing group therapy session to practice implementing CBT interventions to adolescent patient populations. This intervention was utilized to determine the feasibility and effectiveness in educating psychiatric nursing staff on CBT concepts with regard to group therapy for adolescent populations. After participation in the intervention, nursing staff reported benefits and satisfaction with the CBT and group therapy intervention, increased understanding of CBT concepts and interventions, and enhanced preparation for working with adolescent psychiatric patients. It is hoped that this project will guide adolescent-mental-health caregivers in seeking additional education in CBT practices to enhance their education in evidence-based interventions.




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