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Getting to know the person behind the illness: the significance of interacting with patients hospitalised in forensic psychiatric settings
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Caring science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2610-8998
School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, University of Mälardalen, Västerås, Sweden.
School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, University of Mälardalen, Västerås, Sweden; Department of Health and Care Sciences, UiT/The Arctic University of Norway, Campus Narvik, Norway.
2016 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702, Vol. 25, no 9-10, 1426-1434 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To describe what nurses want to accomplish in relationships with patients who are hospitalised in forensic psychiatric settings.

BACKGROUND: Relationships between staff and patients in forensic psychiatric settings should be grounded in trust and confidence, and the patients need opportunities for emotional reconciliation. However, relationships can be challenging for nurses, who sometimes distance themselves from patients' expressions of suffering. The role of forensic mental health nurses is nebulous, as are the prescriptives and the implementation of nursing practices.

DESIGN: Qualitative descriptive design.

METHODS: In-depth interviews with five nurses who all work in forensic psychiatric settings.

RESULTS: We present a descriptive analysis of what nurses want to accomplish in relationships with patients who are hospitalised in forensic psychiatric settings. The results are presented in two main categories: (1) getting to know the person behind the illness and (2) making a difference.

CONCLUSION: Care in forensic psychiatry needs to shift towards a more long-term view of the role of nursing, focusing less on the traditional and stereotypical identity of the productive nurse and more on the care given when nurses slow down and take the time to see the patients as individuals. Establishing trusting relationships with patients in forensic psychiatric settings is viewed as a less oppressive way to control patients and guide them in directions that are preferable for the nurses and for the society.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Nurses may use simple strategies in their daily practice such as sitting on the sofa with patients to establish trust. We stress that nurses should abandon policing roles and custodial activities in favour of guiding principles that promote individual recovery, treatment and health-promoting care.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 25, no 9-10, 1426-1434 p.
Keyword [en]
forensic psychiatric care, identity, interactions, mental health nursing, nurse–patient relationship, psychiatric nursing
National Category
Nursing Psychiatry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-21359DOI: 10.1111/jocn.13252ISI: 000374506500026PubMedID: 26997335ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84962840852OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-21359DiVA: diva2:915207
Available from: 2016-03-29 Created: 2016-03-29 Last updated: 2017-01-09Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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