The meanings of place and space in forensic psychiatric care – A qualitative study reflecting patients’ point of view [2018]

The outcome of care for patients sentenced to forensic psychiatric care is of importance not only for the patient but also for society, in preventing new crimes. In recent years, a person‐centered perspective is influencing the care, recognizing the design of the physical environment as a therapeutic resource. To capture the complexity of patients’ experience of the physical environment, a qualitative approach is needed. The aim of this study was to investigate the meanings of the patient room as a place and space in forensic psychiatric in‐patient care from the patients’ perspective. An explorative qualitative design was chosen, data were collected by photovoice; a combination of photographs, taken by the patients, followed by interviews. Eleven (N = 11) patients were interviewed. The interviews were analysed by a thematic analysis method. Four themes emerged from the data revealing the meanings of the patient room as a place and space: (i) striving towards normality; (ii) being anchored and protected; (iii) being at‐home and homeness; and (iv) being in communion and meaningfulness. The findings show that the physical environment has a say in patients’ basic needs and a role in maintaining normality. Substandard reveals a lack of respect and dignity towards this patient group. Involving patients in the design process of new facilities can be a way to make progress.

Sepideh Olausson RN, PhD Ella Danielson RN, PhD Inger Berglund Johansson RN, PhD Helle Wijk RN
International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 07 December 2018