Psychiatric patients' views of their lives before and after moving to a hostel: a qualitative study


Ian Norman Department of Nursing Studies, King s College London, 552 Kings Road, London SW10 0UA England


This study focuses upon the experiences of a group of 10 long-stay psychiatric patients as they moved from a large institution to a staffed community hostel The residents were interviewed 2 weeks prior to moving and again 6 weeks after the move Areas identified in the first set of unstructured interviews were followed up in the second set Qualitative analysis of the interviews revealed seven recurrent themes that are discussed in relation to other research studies that consider how people experience the effects of inshtutionahzahon The study tests the feasibility of unstructured interviews as a means of collecting accounts of the perceptions and expenences of a client group from which other research methods have failed to elicit detailed information Unstructured interviews proved successful when undertaken by a researcher who was well known and accepted by the residents Familiarity with the residents and the context of the interview was also found to be important in analysing interviews qualitatively and the study casts doubt upon the value of primary qualitative analysis of interview transcripts by researchers who have not also participated in the interviews The methodological implications for future deinshtutionalizahon studies are discussed