Mixed methods evaluation of Body Worn Cameras (BWCs) on acute inpatient mental health units

Body worn cameras (BWC) are being introduced to mental health wards as part of a violence reduction strategy as studies suggest their use may increase patients’ subjective feelings of safety and lead to a reduction in aggression and restrictive practices. However, evidence remains poor in quality with very limited focus. The aim of this study is to investigate whether BWCs increase patient and staff safety, while also exploring whether BWCs have wider impacts on patients’ subjective experiences of respect, dignity and compassion, on the relationships between nurses and patients, and the general ward atmosphere.

This is a mixed methods evaluation taking place on two inpatient mental health wards. We aim to obtain routinely collected data, questionnaire data from service users and at two time points, and conduct semi-structured qualitative interviews to explore participants’ experiences with service users, staff and visitors. Qualitative data will be subject to thematic analysis.

The design of this evaluation will allow us to triangulate qualitative data with quantitative survey and routine NHS data to provide insights into how the use of BWCs can affect nursing practice, skills and confidence as well as effects on patients’ experiences and recovery. This evaluation will test the impact of BWC use within the ward context and also test whether a nurse-led trial of BWCs is feasible, scalable and sustainable.