Receiving thank you letters in inpatient child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS): a qualitative study of nurse’s experiences

Fiona J. Stirling, Sebastian Monteux*, Marcia Stoll

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
178 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: Previous research has found that nurses in inpatient CAMHS can struggle to define their role and contribution to patient care. While gratitude has received increased attention in relation to subjective well‐being in healthcare settings, the receipt of gratitude in the form of thank you letters is currently unexplored in the CAMHS context.

Aim/Question: To gain an understanding of how inpatient CAMHS nursing staff experience receiving expressions of gratitude from patients.

Method: Adopting an exploratory qualitative approach, two focus group interviews were conducted. Participants completed a brief online follow‐up questionnaire. Data were examined using thematic analysis.

Results: Reflecting on expressions of gratitude improved understanding of professional identity, enhanced reflexivity, enhanced team cohesion and increased professional and personal confidence and motivation.

Discussion: Expressions of gratitude appear to offer meaningful sources of feedback for nurses and support a greater sense of personal accomplishment, professional role and the relational impact of care for patients. When nurses share and discuss expressions of gratitude with colleagues this brings benefits additional to the initial receipt. Implications for Mental Health Nursing: Nurses should be supported to engage in discussing and reflecting upon receiving thank you letters and other tokens of gratitude although care should be taken to support those who might experience unease or increased self‐doubt.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-718
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Issue number4
Early online date17 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023


  • Nursing role
  • Gratitude
  • Child and adolescent mental health
  • Thank you letters
  • Personal and professional development


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