Doctor Joel Zugai, RN, BN (Hons), PhD, is a lecturer in mental health nursing in the Faculty of Health. He is currently the subject coordinator for the second year mental health nursing subject 'Fundamentals of Mental Health Nursing'.
Doctor Joel Zugai employs teaching strategies that aim to engage and motivate students to be considerate of the needs of people with mental illness, and people with mental health issues. His aim is to deliver theoretical content, whilst demonstrating application in practice.
Can supervise: YES
Doctor Joel Zugai has an interest in research focused on mental health nursing, particularly research focused on nursing care of Anorexia Nervosa.
Doctor Joel Zugai is also interested in research focused on the nature of interprsonal relationships in mental health nursing.
Mental Health Nursing
Zugai, JS, Stein-Parbury, J & Roche, M 2019, 'Dynamics of nurses' authority in the inpatient care of adolescent consumers with anorexia nervosa: A qualitative study of nursing perspectives.', International journal of mental health nursing, vol. 28, no. 4, pp. 940-949.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Nurses caring for adolescent consumers with anorexia nervosa in the inpatient setting are challenged in a unique way, in that they are caring for people with whom they do not have a mutually held concept of well-being. Their efforts to ensure weight gain are frequently against the wishes of the consumer. This dissonance results in challenging interactions, where nursing care and authority may be undermined. This study investigated the dynamics of nurses' authority within this context. Interviews with nurses (n = 10) were conducted and analysed through thematic analysis. Nurses reported that consumers, compelled by the psychopathology of anorexia nervosa, often sought to challenge or undermine their authority. Some nurses experienced the opposition and conflict as demoralizing, whereas others were able to maintain confidence in the therapeutic merit of their care. Younger, inexperienced nurses in this study were particularly vulnerable to interactions that mitigated their authority, due to their tendency to engage in friend-like relationships. Nurses caring for adolescents with anorexia nervosa should be prepared to be confronted by interactions that overtly and surreptitiously undermine their capacity to exercise professional authority. It is important that nurses recognize the importance of maintaining their authority, and how it can be threatened in subtle and unexpected ways.
Zugai, JS, Stein-Parbury, J & Roche, M 2018, 'The nature of the therapeutic alliance between nurses and consumers with Anorexia Nervosa in the inpatient setting: A mixed-methods study.', Journal of Clinical Nursing, vol. 27, no. 1-2, pp. 416-426.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
To develop a greater understanding of the nature of the inpatient therapeutic alliance between nurses and consumers with Anorexia Nervosa (AN).Consumers with AN value interpersonal relationships with nurses, finding these relationships meaningful and therapeutic. It is established that the therapeutic alliance enhances outcomes for consumers with AN. However, establishing the therapeutic alliance in the inpatient setting is considered challenging.This study employed a two-phase mixed-method explanatory sequential design. An initial quantitative survey, phase one, was followed by the collection and analysis of qualitative data, phase two.Phase one employed validated survey instruments, measuring the perceived degree of therapeutic alliance and elements of ward milieu. Phase two involved semi-structured interviews that focused on therapeutic relationships between nurses and consumers, with specific exploration of the results from phase one. Data collection commenced May 2014 and concluded February 2015.The therapeutic alliance involved interpersonal engagement and a balanced application of authority. In a therapeutic alliance, nurses cared for consumers with interpersonal finesse, whilst maintaining clear distinction between the consumer as an individual and AN as an illness. Nurses also developed a therapeutic alliance by occupying their position of power with consistent yet individualised expectations and by maintaining appropriate professional boundaries.The therapeutic alliance between nurses and consumers with AN is not developed through negotiation of equal partners. Rather, the therapeutic alliance is dependent on nurses' capacity to maintain their position of power, whilst demonstrating their trustworthiness to the consumer. In trusting nurses, consumers felt safer in investing in a new concept of well-being.By understanding the nature of the therapeutic alliance as it is described in this study, nurses have an enhanced capacity to develop effective therape...
Zugai, JS, Stein-Parbury, J & Roche, M 2018, 'Therapeutic alliance, anorexia nervosa and the inpatient setting: A mixed methods study.', Journal of advanced nursing, vol. 74, no. 2, pp. 443-453.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The aim of this study was to understand the context of the inpatient setting for the treatment of anorexia nervosa and the implications for the therapeutic alliance between nurses and consumers.The nature of the therapeutic alliance is dependent on the contextual factors that influence interactions. The inpatient setting for the treatment of anorexia nervosa is one such setting where the therapeutic alliance is operative, yet challenging and poorly understood.A two-phase explanatory sequential design was employed. Descriptive statistics from phase one informed phase two interviews. Phase two data were analysed through thematic analysis.A convenience sample of nurses and consumers were recruited from six wards, in five hospitals. Phase one involved the completion of a survey (N = 128) that measured the strength of the therapeutic alliance, as well as other elements of ward context. Phase two interviews (N = 54) were focused on the therapeutic alliance between nurses and consumers and the implications of the inpatient setting. Data collection occurred between May 2014 - February 2015.Anorexia nervosa as an illness carries destructive implications for the quality of the therapeutic alliance. Nurses' intimate position in the inpatient setting and interpersonal capacity is influential in overcoming the obstacles that impede the therapeutic alliance.Nurses' capacity for developing therapeutic alliances is in part dependent on a supportive ward organization and the adequacy of resources to permit meaningful interactions with consumers with anorexia nervosa. Understanding the contextual factors specific to the inpatient setting enhances nurses' ability to develop therapeutic alliances.
Zugai, JS, Stein-Parbury, J & Roche, MA 2015, 'Therapeutic Alliance in Mental Health Nursing: an Evolutionary Concept Analysis', Issues in Mental Health Nursing, vol. 36, no. 4, pp. 249-257.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The concept of therapeutic alliance is relevant in contemporary mental health care, as the consumer-led recovery movement promotes the development of collaborative relationships, and is focussed on the consumer's individual concept of wellbeing. An evolutionary concept analysis was undertaken to establish a contemporary interpretation of therapeutic alliance for mental health nursing. The CINAHL, Scopus and PsycINFO databases were searched for articles (n = 322), with 52 deemed appropriate for analysis. Therapeutic alliance is characterised by mutual partnerships between nurses and consumers, and is dependent on a humanistic healthcare culture. Therapeutic alliance is associated with enhanced consumer outcomes and experiences with care.
Zugai, JS, Stein-Parbury, J & Roche, MA 2013, 'Effective nursing care of adolescents with anorexia nervosa: a consumer perspective', Journal Of Clinical Nursing, vol. 22, no. 13-14, pp. 2020-2029.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This study indicates that the process of weight gain for consumers with anorexia nervosa may be enhanced when accompanied by a process of therapeutic engagement. The therapeutic alliance may be an effective way for nurses to ensure weight gain and an enhanced inpatient experience. Therapeutically beneficial relationships may enhance treatment, and possibly enhance outcomes for consumers.