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Experiences of involuntary admission in an approved mental health centre

Authors


Correspondence:

D. G. McGuinness

National University of Ireland, Galway

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Aras Moyola

Galway 0035391495481

Ireland

E-mail: d.mcguinness5@nuigalway.ie

Abstract

Accessible summary

  • This qualitative study interviewed six people who had been detained in a psychiatric hospital in Ireland. The people interviewed had been detained. The study participants were asked to recall their experiences of detention.
  • The participants expressed both negative and positive experiences of care delivery during their detention. Participants' initial feelings and opinions on their early days of detention focused on their difficulties in knowing ‘what's going on’. This was because of a lack of information and explanation of what was happening. Participants also talked about their need to ‘move on’ while in hospital, and the variety of emotions that they felt on this journey.
  • The study findings highlight the need for psychiatric nurses to assist people detained in their care make sense of their detention experience. By doing so, this may help people deal with the experience in a more positive way and may also help strengthen relationships with the mental health professional team on discharge.

Abstract

The aim of this qualitative study was to gain an understanding of what it means to have an involuntary hospital admission. A sample of six people who were detained at an approved Irish mental health centre consented to recount their experiences were interviewed. The interview transcripts were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Three superordinate themes were identified: ‘The early days’, ‘Experiences of treatment’ and ‘Moving on?’. ‘The early days' represented participants’ initial feelings and opinions of the experience of coming into the approved centre. ‘Experiences of treatment’ refers to participants' experiences of medication and relationships with staff. Finally, the theme ‘Moving on?’ represented participants' views on how they adjusted to involuntary admission. ‘Learning the way’ was central to the participants' notion of moving on. The findings suggest that the meaning of detention is a varied one that evokes an array of emotional responses for participants and highlights the need for a renewed way of thinking and doing concerning those subject to involuntary.

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