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To do good might hurt bad: Exploring nurses' understanding and approach to suffering in forensic psychiatric settings
Karsudden Hospital, Katrineholm, Sweden .
Centre for Research and Development, Uppsala University/County Council of Gävleborg, Sweden .
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9714-577X
2015 (English)In: International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, ISSN 1445-8330, E-ISSN 1447-0349, Vol. 24, no 2, 149-157 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Patients in forensic psychiatric settings not only have to deal with their mental illness, but also memories of criminal activities and being involuntarily hospitalized. The aim of the present study was to explore how nurses working in forensic psychiatric services understand and approach patients' experiences of suffering. Data were generated by semistructured interviews with psychiatric nurses from two different forensic psychiatric units in Sweden. Data were analysed by means of a hermeneutic approach inspired by Ricoeur's hermeneutics. The findings are reflected in four main themes: (i) ignoring suffering; (ii) explaining suffering as a natural and inevitable part of daily life in the forensic context; (iii) ascribing meaning to suffering; and, (iv) being present in suffering. To engage in alleviating suffering is a struggle that demands courage and the strength to reflect on its character and consequences. To encounter suffering means that nurses are not only confronted with patients' suffering, but also their own reactions to those patients. If suffering is not recognized or encountered, there is a risk that actions may have a negative impact on patients.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 24, no 2, 149-157 p.
Keyword [en]
Caring, Forensic psychiatry, Nurse-patient relationship, Psychiatric nursing, Suffering, Trust
National Category
Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27837DOI: 10.1111/inm.12116ISI: 000352529700008ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84926419225OAI: diva2:805864
Available from: 2015-04-16 Created: 2015-04-16 Last updated: 2015-10-27Bibliographically approved

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