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Keywords:

  • patients’ experience;
  • psychiatric nursing;
  • therapeutic nurse–patient interaction

The purpose of this article is to describe patients’ experiences of being helped during a period of psychiatric hospital care. Psychosis has traditionally been defined in medical and psychological terminology. The focus of psychiatric nursing is the human experience of distress associated with mental illness. The aim of psychiatric care is to promote healing and coping in daily life through support, validation and understanding. The main aim is to re-empower the patient with psychosis by using psychiatric care. The purposive sample consisted of interviews with nine voluntary patients recovering from psychosis. The interviewees told about their experiences of care. The verbatim transcripts were analysed using Giorgi's phenomenological method. Patients experienced care as helpful but unstructured: care facilitated their situation by alleviating the disorders, but it had not been defined by nurses, and the patients made their own conclusions about what care should be like. The care did not reach the inner world of the patients with psychosis. From the patients’ point of view, care should protect them from vulnerability and empower/restructure their selves for coping in daily life.