Hermeneutic caring conversations in forensic psychiatric caring [2017]

In forensic psychiatric care, a hermeneutic caring conversation between caregivers and patients can improve health outcomes. The hermeneutic approach entails starting from the whole and involves openness for what is shown as well as paying attention to the different parts. One way to deepen these conversations is to take advantage of both the caregivers’ and the patients’ life experiences.

Research questions:
The purpose of the study is to discuss and reflect on what hermeneutic caring conversations can mean for a deepened understanding of the movement in the health processes of patients in forensic care, patients who are in deep suffering.

Research design:
This study uses a hermeneutic methodology. Conversations with patients receiving care in forensic psychiatry are deepened using texts from philosophy, caring science, and poetry. The outcome emerges through a phase of creating patterns.

Three patients in forensic care.

Ethical considerations:
This study builds on a doctoral thesis approved by The Ethical Review Board at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping, Sweden.

Hermeneutic caring conversations provide a possibility for rich caring conversations with patients who are often not given a voice. These conversations are seen as ethical expressions of hermeneutic caring communion that affect patients’ health processes in a positive way.

It takes courage and responsibility to initiate and conduct these conversations as the patients volunteer to share their suffering. In hermeneutic caring conversations, the caregiver’s attitude is crucial for the transference of knowledge.

This study provides a preliminary outline for hermeneutic caring conversations. A caring culture that provides time and space to prepare hermeneutic caring conversations is a prerequisite for the implementation of hermeneutic caring conversations.

Kenneth Rydenlund, Unni Å Lindström, Arne Rehnsfeldt
Nursing Ethics, Vol 26, Issue 2, 2019