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Keywords:

  • nursing;
  • attempted suicide;
  • psychiatry;
  • patient satisfaction;
  • confirmation

Psychiatric care as seen by the attempted suicide patient

This study highlights the experiences of patients during in-patient psychiatric care in Sweden following a suicide attempt. Eighteen patients were interviewed as close to being discharged as possible. Each respondent was asked to narrate his/her experiences of the care received. An interview guide concerned the following areas: admission to the hospital, feelings and reactions, and positive as well as negative experiences during the hospital stay. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and a qualitative content analysis concerning the meanings, intuitions, consequences and the context of the data was performed. Three central categories were identified: being a psychiatric patient, patients’ perceptions of the caregivers and the care provided, as well as important aspects of the psychiatric care received. The importance of being well cared for and receiving understanding and confirmation was emphasized. Lack of confirmation may have contributed in some cases to a feeling of being burdensome, demands for discharge or even another suicide attempt. Verbal contacts with the staff were seen as essential for the process of healing and for the desire to go on living.