Background: Individuals with mental illness are at increased risk of skin injuries. The role of nurses in skin injury prevention and management is crucial and therefore their views on wound care may provide useful information for improving the quality of the care provided. Aim: To investigate nurses’ views on care of mentally ill patients with skin injuries. Method: A qualitative research design based on the principles of grounded theory approach was followed. Unstructured interviews were conducted with seven nurses working in psychiatric wards with frequent skin injuries. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method of analysis. Results: Two main themes were emerged from data analysis. The first main theme, namely factors affecting the care of patients with skin injuries, included seven categories: (a) shortage of hospital supplies, equipment and services (b) staff shortages, (c) lack of knowledge, (d) nurses’ resistance to change, (e) difficulty in collaborating with patients, (f) patients’ physical conditions and (g) nurses’ attitudes as an obstacle to care. The second main theme, namely nurses’ suggestions for optimizing care, included five categories: (a) need for additional staff, (b) need for increasing hospital supplies and equipment availability, (c) need for training (d) need of changing nurses’ attitudes towards care and (e) need of changing the patients’ approach to collaboration. Conclusion: The care of mentally ill patients with skin injuries is affected by multidimensional factors that have a direct impact on the quality of nurses’ work and patients’ hospitalization. Specific efforts are needed to overcome the obstacles that hinder the care provided and to improve clinical practice.
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