Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Carla Davis, DNP, APRN-BC, MSN, RN

Carla Davis
  • Committee Chair Name & Credentials:
    Jennifer Barut, PhD, MSN, RN


DNP Project Abstract

Psychiatric Inpatient Access to Personal Electronic Devices: Clinical Staff Perceptions

The purpose of this DNP project was to explore perceptions of clinical staff of personal electronic device access before and after implementation of a policy of inpatient personal electronic device access on the unit.

This project explored clinical staff perceptions of patient access to personal electronic devices on a 16-bed adult inpatient substance use disorder unit within an academic medical center. This unit had a population of adult involuntary and voluntary psychiatric patients 18 years and older. The pre- and post-implementation perceptions survey was developed with support from key behavioral health experts. A convenience sample of 23 full-time and float pool staff members were invited to participate in the anonymous survey through VUMC email. The perceptions questionnaire was made available to the clinical staff prior to policy implementation. The same perceptions questionnaire was emailed five weeks after the policy had been in place.

Total response rates were 13 respondents (56.5%) for the pre-implementation perceptions survey and 10 respondents (43.5%) for the post-implementation perception survey. Data collected from the five-point Likert scale responses were evaluated using descriptive statistics. A bar graph provided a visual representation of the responses to the 5 survey questions with the greatest change in average agreement scores. A chart provided a summary of the demographic survey of the pre-implementation respondents.

The survey principally explored safety issues and therapeutic/treatment benefits. Regarding safety, the average agreement scores showed a slight improvement of 3.5 to 3.6 of pre- versus post-implementation. There was no appreciable difference concerning therapeutic/treatment benefits.

Implications for Practice
There is a need for ongoing evaluation of clinical staff perceptions regarding psychiatric inpatient access to personal electronic devices. Further study would be beneficial to gain insights and perceptions from staff on other units within the psychiatric hospital to provide results that could be beneficial to other psychiatric hospitals seeking similar implementation.