What is it about?

This article is the third in a series that will celebrate the work of positive psychologists and how their work has the power and potential to influence mental health nursing practice. Focusing on the contribution of Professor Ed Diener (1946–2021) and his work on subjective wellbeing, will help bring interest and understanding to this exciting and developing area of mental health nursing practice.

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Why is it important?

Ed Diener was one of the founding researchers in the field of positive psychology. His specialist area of interest was the concept and coining of the phrase ‘subjective wellbeing’ which is the aspect of happiness that can be empirically measured. He published over 400 articles, with over 250 000 citations and is one of the world’s most eminent psychologists, being rated as the 172nd most cited scientist in the world across all disciplines.There are many aspects to Diener’s work that can be applied to mental health nursing. This article will focus on his excellence in research and his concept of subjective wellbeing.


Diener’s writing offers mental health nurses opportunities to improve their confidence in understanding important characteristics of the research process and the wide range of methodologies that are required to generate knowledge that can be applied to enhance quality of care. It helps mental health nurses accept that that there are attributes of practice that are not known or could be improve on, and provides avenues for how these gaps could be filled (Ellis, 2022). This lifelong personal and professional process is core to effective mental health nursing.Although there have been studies with patients, there has been little in the way of applying this theory to mental health nurses despite the fact that mental health nurses are undergoing tremendous physical and psychological pressure, which may reduce their levels of subjective wellbeing.

Mrs Jan Macfarlane
University of Bolton

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Positive psychology pioneers: Ed Diener's power and potential to influence mental health nursing, British Journal of Mental Health Nursing, August 2022, Mark Allen Group, DOI: 10.12968/bjmh.2022.0026.
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