Hei Tung, Ip

Hei Tung, Ip

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

Title: Nurses in street attire: Facilitator of recovery process?


Hei Tung Ip is currently a final year candidate of Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Mental Health Nursing in The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She has involved in a research concerning nurses in street attire as a facilitator of patients’ recovery. She also joined different activities related to nursing, a service program, “growing resilience of children in post-disaster contexts”, to hold activities for children in Sichuan in 2015. She has been a member of the Dance Society. She enjoys singing and occasionally performs with her band mates in campus.


The Recovery Model has been introduced in Hong Kong since 2010. Recently, the policy of uniform in rehabilitation ward has changed to allow staff wear their own clothes to better fit the Recovery Model. The effects of nursing staff wearing street attire have been under discussion over the past decades in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. However, this literature is of limited value to the psychiatric services in Hong Kong, where no related research has been conducted. The aim of the study was to explore Hong Kong mental health nurses’ views about wearing street attire within an in-patient rehabilitation unit in regards to facilitating patients’ recovery process. A qualitative descriptive study method, utilizing individual in-depth semi-structured research interview, was employed in this study. Interview data were content analyzed from the perspective of post-positivism. A total of 11 interviews were conducted with nurse participants. The analysis process initially identified 177 open codes, which were merged into 81 nodes. Finally, 3 main themes and 9 sub-themes were identified. Main themes were ‘building up rapport with patients’, ‘street attire helps deinstitutionalization’ and ‘different approaches to maximize the benefit and to minimize the risk’. A majority of nurse participants positively viewed the policy of wearing street attire in a psychiatric rehabilitation unit, they felt the policy was potentially beneficial to patients’ recovery process. Street attire is not the only key to recovery, nurses are recommended to be aware of their skills in taking care of patients, to further maximize the benefit of the policy.