Research Homepage

Welcome to the ACMHN website for research. I am honoured to make this brief introduction and I am pleased that we are able to explore and discuss research, using technology to bring people and material together and to examine research outcomes
for improvements in health, practice development and quality mental health care.

It is an exciting initiative.

The College recognises that the advancement of knowledge and practice in mental health depends on individuals interested and educated to conduct research and evaluation of practice. Only a small number of mental health nurses have that interest or even the opportunity to undertake formal research projects. Nevertheless all contemporary mental health nurses must engage in a culture that privileges practice based on critical appraisal of scientific evidence.

Research is a systematic way of obtaining and examining evidence for practice, for solving mental health care problems and for exploring health care issues. This website enables mental health nurses to participate in discussions concerning research
and practice in an accessible way.

Many authors note the importance of MH nursing research. Edward and Welch (2011) state that it

  • Facilitates safe and effective practice
  • Increases the likelihood of providing the correct treatment and care
  • Promotes consistency across complex clinical settings (here and globally)
  • Promotes equity among health professional groups regarding knowledge and skills
  • Assists in the development of contextualised protocols
  • Synthesises a range of available data into manageable and usable forms
  • Allows others to engage with experts and use their knowledge and opinion to inform practice

The College values and promotes a philosophy of inquiry and encourages the interrogation of practice. We hope this website will begin to provide the necessary infrastructure to assist mental health nurses to engage with the evidence-based practice agenda and creating an environment that supports mental health nurses to make decisions based on best available evidence. By doing this, the college actively promotes interdisciplinary collaboration in clinical decision-making.

This website attempts to bring broad aspects of a research agenda together and over time promote practice that is supported and sustained by the evidence that is generated, translated and utilised by mental health nurses.

I congratulate the College for establishing this valuable tool to bring people together to discuss and develop mental health nursing research. Obviously mental health nurses are undertaking many research projects and we see this every time we pick up a journal such as the IJMHN and we can read excellent accounts of them. In addition, we see extraordinary work being  undertaken by mental health nurses in their daily practice. This work needs to be examined, evaluated and disseminated to others. This website is an excellent opportunity for clinicians and researchers to come together to examine practice to put things in place to develop a cultures of enabling and sharing.

I hope users of this website find it a valuable resource and that strong connections are made that lead to the development of further research projects to improve mental health nursing practice.


Wendy Cross
President, ACMHN
March 2014


Edward, K. & Welch, A. (2011). Evidence-based practice in mental health. In Edward, K. Munro, I., Robins, A., & Welch, A. (Eds). Mental Health Nursing: Dimensions of Praxis. Sydney: Oxford University Press.


Submitting information to this page

We'd love to receive any relevant pieces of information that you think should appear on the website. To submit something for the Research website, simply send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please note: information submitted will be assessed for accuracy and relevance. Not all information submitted will appear on the website.

Useful links


NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use
Mental health and substance use disorders account for more years of life lost due to disability than any other disorders. These disorders often occur together (comorbidity), affecting more than 300,000 Australians every year. Despite the significance of these conditions, the evidence surrounding the effective prevention and treatment of co-occurring disorders is weak.

Funded in 2012 by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, our Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in Mental Health and Substance Use aims to build much needed research capacity in this area.


National Institute of Nursing Research
The mission of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) is to promote and improve the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations. The Institute supports and conducts clinical and basic research and research training on health and illness across the lifespan to build the scientific foundation for clinical practice, prevent disease and disability, manage and eliminate symptoms caused by illness, and improve palliative and end-of-life care.


St Vincent's Hospital Sydney Nursing Research Institute
The Nursing Research Institute (NRI) is a collaboration between St. Vincent's and Mater Health Sydney (SV&MHS) and the Australian Catholic University (ACU). The Institute undertakes multidisciplinary clinical and health services research focused on patient outcomes and implementing evidence into practice


Mental Health Nursing Research and Practice Development Unit
The Nursing Research and Practice Development Unit (NRPDU) exists within the Priority Research Centre for Brain and Mental Health Research. The program of research operating from the NRPDU locates research into mental health nursing within a broad framework of mental health services research. The main focus of the program is to assess the effectiveness of nursing led psychological and psychosocial interventions using qualitative and/or quantitative research methods.


Centre for Mental Health Nursing Innovation
CMHNI (Centre for Mental Health Nursing Innovation) provides leadership in mental health nursing at local, state, national and international levels and will become a focal point for research and scholarly advance in mental health nursing in partnership with key stakeholders from industry and the broader community. Our commitment to the involvement of people with lived experience of mental health challenges is genuinely reflected by the statement: "nothing about us without us".

University of Melbourne Centre for Psychiatric Nursing
The CPN officially commenced operation in November 1999, and is funded to address education, professional development and research issues, particularly as they relate to psychiatric nursing practice, with the aim to facilitate and oversea changes in nursing practice in order to improve health outcomes for consumers of mental health services.

In being a focal body for psychiatric nursing in Victoria, the CPN encourages cooperation between stakeholders in order to promote psychiatric nursing practice.


Mental Health Research Institute
The Mental Health Research Institute has amalgamated with the Florey Neuroscience Institutes to form The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.

The research focus remains as it was on psychiatric conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and on neurodegenerative illnesses including dementias particularly Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.


Participate in research

Mental Health Nursing Research


Advance Statements within the Mental Health Setting

Do you work in Victoria? or have you previously worked in Victoria since July 2014? We are seeking Mental Health Practitioners who currently work in Victoria or have done so since July 2014 to participate in an anonymous online survey, exploring mental health professionals’ attitudes, knowledge and the use of Advance Statements since the implementation of the Victorian Mental Health Act (2014).

This survey invites you to complete an anonymous online questionnaire. At the end of the questionnaire, you will be invited to participate further in a follow-up telephone interview if you wish. To participate in this study, go to This research project has been approved by RMIT University ethics committee.

Since the implementation of the Victorian Mental Health Act (2014), Advance Statements have been adopted to allow consumers of mental health services provide preference for the treatment and care they receive. This research project, undertaken at RMIT University, is investigating the knowledge, attitudes and perceived barriers of mental health practitioners in Victoria towards the use of Advance Statements within the Mental Health Setting.

The aims of this study are to explore Victorian mental health practitioners’ understanding of Advance Statements since the implementation of the Victorian Mental Health Act (2014); identify factors that promote or hinder the establishment of Advance Statements; and develop recommendations for practice for effective implementation.

For further information, please contact: Russell James PhD Candidate This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
or Associate Professor Phillip Maude Chief Investigator This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (03) 9925 7447

Kind Regards
Russell James RN

Nurses’ attitudes to the physical health care needs: the impact on health care screening, assessment, and intervention in the mental health setting.

You are invited to participate in a research project being conducted by Matthew Beverley-Stone, a Master of Nursing student at the Eastern Institute of Technology.

The aim of this study is: 

To explore the attitude of nurses in the mental health setting, with regards to assessment, monitoring, and treatment of physical health. 

This survey is anonymous. No one, including the researcher, will be able to associate your responses with your identity. Please do not indicate in your responses your name, institution or your specific town/state/region.  Your participation is voluntary and you may choose to stop responding at any time during the survey by using the exit button at the top right of the screen (however, you may still complete the survey at a later date, if you wish).

The completion of the survey will take around 10-20 minutes and indicates your voluntary agreement to participate in this research project. 

To access the survey online, please click here.


Adjusting to Retirement Study

Invitation to participate in a research study on retiring

We are looking for people who are willing to take part in a research study that investigates the contribution of various social factors to adjustment during the retirement transition.

Over 3 million Australians are currently retired from the workforce, and while we know financial planning is important in this process about a third of people still fail to adjust well despite this planning. Research is now pointing to the importance of various social factors, and our current research project investigates the contribution that social relationships make to retirement adjustment.

The study is being conducted by researchers at The University of Queensland and has been reviewed and approved by the Behavioural and Social Sciences Ethical Review Committee (Approval Number: 2015001736). Taking part will involve you answering some questions in online surveys about your workplace, retirement preparation, social relationships, and sources of support and well-being. This is a three-phase study, so you will complete similar surveys three times during your retirement transition – at up to 6 months before retirement, within 1-2 weeks once you have retired, and again 2-3 months following retirement.

These surveys will each take about 30 minutes to complete. To thank you for your participation, we will put you in a prize draw where you have the chance to win Coles Group and Myer eGift cards on completion of each survey (Survey 1: 10 x $20 cards will be drawn; Survey 2: 10 x $30 cards will be drawn; Survey 3: 10 x $50 cards will be drawn).

So if in the next 6 months you plan to stop full-time work and fully retire (doing part-time, temporary or volunteering work is okay) and would like to be involved, please click on the following link: 

After completing the first survey, we will contact you again to send another survey with similar questions. The purpose of this is to track your experience in the transition to retirement.

The Groups 4 Retirement project is part of the Groups 4 Health program ( The project is being led by Professor Catherine Haslam and Dr. Ben Lam. If you have any questions about the project please get in touch with us via the following email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Pre-registration nursing students: Learning to respond to thought disordered speech

My name is Denise McGarry (RN) and I am a nursing academic and a PhD student at the University of Technology Sydney.

The purpose of this research/online survey is to find out how nursing students worldwide learn to respond to people experiencing thought-disordered speech during their undergraduate study.

I’d like to hear the experiences of pre-registration/undergraduate nursing students and recently graduated/ registered nurses and their ideas of what would help this learning and teaching. This study has ethics approval from the University of Technology Sydney UTS HREC REF NO. ETH16-0911.

If you use Facebook, could you please fill out the survey on

You can also complete the survey via the direct link. You are most welcome to forward the link to your professional nursing/midwifery friends and contacts.  


Mental Health Nurses as Mothers of Adult Children with Schizophrenia.

The aim of the research is to explore the lived experiences of mental health nurse mothers who have adult children diagnosed with schizophrenia. The research will attempt to determine the enabling conditions and systems that facilitate mental health nurses in their roles as mothers. A qualitative approach grounded in storytelling will permit an exploration of the participants’ stories to increase knowledge of the context within which the mothers (mental health nurses) negotiate the health care needs of their adult children and will begin a dialogue on how their stories can be translated into clinical practice.

Recruitment details

Participants meet the following criteria for inclusion in the study:

1. Be a mental health nurse;
2. Be the biological mother of an adult child (18 year or older) who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia;
3. Must have been employed as a mental health nurse prior to and during the time of their child’s diagnosis.

For more information about participating in this study, please contact Debra Klages by phone at 0459 494 083, or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

You may also contact the principal investigator, Dr. Kim Usher, by phone at +612 677 32975 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Understanding seclusion and restraint practices in psychiatric/mental health inpatient units and emergency departments

Are you working in a psychiatric/mental health inpatient unit (e.g. acute, forensic, older persons, child & adolescent, etc.) or in an Emergency Department in Australia?

If so, please read on...

The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) has been funded by the National Mental Health Commission to undertake a project designed to increase our understanding of how best to support mental health nurses towards ongoing reduction in seclusion and restraint use in inpatient settings in Australia. There are several components to the project including a literature review, an online survey and some focus groups.

This email relates to the anonymous online survey developed by the project research team at Flinders University, led by Professor Eimear Muir-Cochrane.

You are invited to complete this survey, which asks about your views of the use of seclusion and restraint in inpatient psychiatric/mental health units and Emergency Department settings. It also asks you about your experiences regarding the use of seclusion and restraint in your specific workplace. Participation in the survey is entirely voluntary.

Thank you in advance for your participation - we really value your insights into this important topic.

To access survery, click here

Scoping mental health professional’s preparedness to use video games as a therapeutic intervention with young people experiencing mental health challenges.

High arousal, isolative and prolonged video gaming, especially at night time, is likely to create negative mental health outcomes for young people. However, there is a pattern of increased evidence in the literature reporting on positive outcomes for young people from moderate levels of video gaming. This study is scoping the attitudes, knowledge and capabilities of mental health professionals to utilise video gaming as a therapeutic intervention for young people experiencing mental health challenges.

To access the survey, click here


Other Mental Health Research 

Research Priorities in Suicide Prevention - Mental Health Nurses Input is Key

The University of Melbourne and Suicide Prevention Australia are seeking the input of Mental Health Nurses on future research priorities in suicide prevention. You are invited to participate in a short online survey that will inform a future research agenda for Australian suicide prevention research. The short survey will take less than 15 minutes to complete and can be accessed at 

Your input is greatly valued, and your responses will be treated anonymously. The survey is open until 18 August 2017.

For further information, please contact:

Prof Jane Pirkis
Phone: (03) 8344 0647
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Inter-professional Information Exchange: Exploring multidisciplinary information sharing in Australia


Whatever your client group or work setting - we want to hear from you! This national study is investigating inter-professional attitudes towards exchanging information. Seeking insight from mental health professionals about their experiences – good and bad! We want to hear your view on information sharing practices, as well as how this could be applied to child protection and well-being.

To participate, complete this anonymous online survey, and go into the draw to win a $50 Westfield voucher.

Survey link: 

Registered nurses and complementary therapies
A group of researchers from Monash University are investigating nurses' attitudes towards patients' use of complementary therapies. Findings from the study will be used to inform nursing education and practice in Australia. Given the popularity of complementary therapies in
The oncology setting, they are particularly keen to get the views of cancer nurses. Participation in the study involves completing an online questionnaire, which is anonymous and will take around 10 minutes.
​ ​
If you choose to respond, you can change your mind at any time and stop completing the survey without any consequences.
Any data gathered from this survey will be published in a form that does not identify you in any way.

On completion, you have the option of entering a prize draw to win an iPad mini.

To access the survey please click here

Inedible Nurses Project 

ASANNA has embarked on a research project called the Inedible Nurses project. We are working towards curbing workplace bullying and lateral violence in the nursing workplace, and ultimately changing a culture of bullying.

We are starting this project with a survey on student and novice experiences (both RN and EN during studies and first five years after graduation). From here we will work toward a program for implementation in the future.

We would appreciate it if the CoNNMO organisations could share the electronic version of our survey to their members - whether via social media or other contact methods. I have attached the link for publication and a blurb.

To access survey, please click here



Various research textbooks


A Short Guide to Academic Writing
Andrew P. Johnson (Author)

Doing Your Literature Review: Traditional and Systematic Techniques
Jill Jesson (Author), Lydia Matheson (Author), Fiona M Lacey (Author)

The Literature Review: Six Steps to Success
Lawrence (Larry) A. (Anthony) Machi (Author), Brenda T. (Tyler) McEvoy (Author)

The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project
Zina O'Leary (Author)

How To Prepare A Dissertation Proposal: Suggestions For Students In Education And The Social And Behavioral Sciences
David R. Krathwohl (Author), Nick L. Smith (Author)

Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice of Research, 7th Edition
Russell K. Schutt (Author)

How to Ask Survey Questions (The Survey Kit 2)
Arlene G. Fink (Author)

Doing Qualitative Research: A Practical Handbook
David Silverman (Author)

Doing Narrative Research
Molly Andrews (Editor), Corinne Squire (Editor), Maria Tamboukou (Editor)

Five Ways of Doing Qualitative Analysis: Phenomenological Psychology, Grounded Theory, Discourse Analysis, Narrative Research, and Intuitive Inquiry
by Frederick J. Wertz PhD (Author) , Kathy Charmaz PhD (Author) , Linda M. McMullen PhD (Author) , PhD Ruthellen Josselson PhD (Author) , Rosemarie Anderson PhD (Author) , Emalinda McSpadden MA (Author)


You may also wish to look at

Crookes, P.A. & Davies, S. 2004, Research into practice: essential skills for reading and applying research in health care, Bailliere Tindall, Sydney.

Crabtree, B.F. & Miller, W.L. 1999, Doing qualitative research, Sage Publishing, London.

Denzin, N. & Lincoln, Y. 1998, Introduction: entering the field of qualitative research: the landscape of qualitative research: theories and issues, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.

McMurray, A., Scott, D. & Pace, W. 2004, Research: a commonsense approach, Thomson Learning, Melbourne.

Yin, R.K. 2009, Case study research: design and methods, Sage Publications, Los Angeles.