Experiencing Seclusion in a Forensic Psychiatric Setting: A Phenomenological Study
In hospital settings, and especially in forensic psychiatric ones, restlessness, aggression, and even violence are familiar issues to healthcare workers. Under these circumstances, the need for restrictive measures (seclusion, mechanical/chemical restraints) is sometimes needed. Although such measures should be considered as exceptional interventions, they continue to be widespread in general, psychiatric, and forensic psychiatric settings. Although there is a great deal of literature on a myriad of issues associated with the use of seclusion, very little research has focused on the lived experience of the seclusion room in forensic psychiatric settings, whether from the patient's perspective or from the perspective of nursing staff responsible for these patients. Such an examination could help ameliorate the experience of secluded forensic psychiatric patients while informing nursing staff about the impacts of seclusion. This article reports the results of a federally funded qualitative, phenomenological research study conducted in a Canadian forensic psychiatric environment. Our results show that the "structure of place" matters for both patients who experience seclusion and nursing staff who work therapeutically in these settings. "Place" is irreducible to the physical "space" in which bodies find themselves; this study of place took into consideration the ways the lived body experiences seclusion and interrelates with others. Although there can be no doubt that many patients who experience seclusion are oftentimes objectively at risk, with a heightened potential to self-harm and to harm other inpatients and nursing staff as well, as our study participants attested, the bodies secluded in this space are not "objects.".
|Keywords||experience, forensic nursing, nurses, patients, phenomenology, seclusion|
|Journal||Journal of Forensic Nursing|
Holmes, D. (Dave), Murray, S.J, & Knack, N. (Natasha). (2015). Experiencing Seclusion in a Forensic Psychiatric Setting: A Phenomenological Study. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 11(4), 200–213. doi:10.1097/JFN.0000000000000088