Aim: The study aims to investigate the change in the culture of an Italian psychiatric residential care home as perceived by the Mental Health Workers’ (MHWs) who have worked in it over the course of three decades. Method: The Emotional Text Analysis (ETA) framework was used to run an Elementary Context analysis of the MHWs’ handovers completed in from 1990 to 2011. Results: The analysis generated four clusters illustrating the change in the MHWs’ representations of the residential care home and its occupants over the years. Three underlying factors organizing the clusters oppositions on the factorial space were also identified. The factors showed: 1. the shift from an individualistic, problem-focused view to an inclusive, community-oriented approach; 2. the simultaneous presence of a descriptive as well as a specialized language; 3. the involvement of two actors (professionals and patients). Conclusions: Handovers have proven capable of documenting several important changes in the psychiatric facility under analysis: a. the adoption of a more inclusive approach to patient care; b. the increased importance of administrative aspects; c. the reduction of power imbalance between providers and carers. The paper shows the potential of handovers as instruments for illustrating organizational change.
- Emotional Text Analysis (ETA)
- Mental Health Workers (MHWs)
- organizational change
- psychiatric residential care
- staff representations