Lok Yan, Chu

Lok Yan, Chu

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

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


Lok Yan, Chu is currently a final-year undergraduate in BSc (Hons) in Mental Health Nursing in The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She has been a student research assistant under an assistant professor in Centre of Gerotological Nursing at school since June 2016. She was also the editor of two publications related to pain management in people with Dementia. “Nurses in street attire: Facilitator of recovery process?” is the first research project that she was a co-investigator working with her research teammates. She has been nominated to join a nursing exchange programme in National University of Singapore in the summer of 2016.


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.