Research is lacking on what determines interaction between staff and patients with a diagnosis of personality disorder in forensic settings.
Test whether coping, self‐reflection, insight and emotion regulation are related to the behaviour of staff towards these patients, and test the possible moderating and mediating effect of emotion regulation.
Using a cross‐sectional design, 76 direct care staff of a forensic clinic completed questionnaires on all variables. Relations were tested using simple linear regression, mediation, and moderation analyses.
Insight and emotion‐focused coping of staff were related to seeking less and more support from patients respectively. Emotion regulation by reappraisal combined with emotion‐focused coping was associated with more hostile behaviour by staff, and suppression combined with avoidance‐focused coping with less hostile behaviour.
Insight, emotion‐focused coping and emotion regulation of staff influence the quality of care of patients with a diagnosis of personality disorder in forensic settings. Future research ought to include contextual factors.
Implications for practice
Enhancing self‐compassion may improve insight and reduce emotion‐focused coping. Context is important: taking the needs of staff into account may involve suppressing emotions combined with avoidance in a highly emotional situation while facing and reappraising the situation when emotions are low.