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The experience of involuntary detention in acute psychiatric care. A review and synthesis of qualitative studies

Seed, Tara, Fox, John R.E. and Berry, Katherine 2016. The experience of involuntary detention in acute psychiatric care. A review and synthesis of qualitative studies. International Journal of Nursing Studies 61 , pp. 82-94. 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2016.05.014

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Objective To build on a previous review and updated understanding of how patients experience involuntary detention for their mental health difficulties. Design We provide a narrative synthesis review of qualitative studies. Data sources Using pre-defined search terms, the following databases were searched covering the period 2006 to March 2014: Psychinfo, Medline, Medline In-Process, Embase, Web of Knowledge, Scopus, Science Direct, British Nursing Index and Cinahl Plus. Three journals were electronically hand-searched. Review methods The search resulted in the retrieval of 6230 records which were screened by title. Relevant studies were then screened by abstract and further articles were read for full text. References of articles read for full text were screened using an inclusion and exclusion criteria. A total of fifteen studies were identified and a quality evaluation tool was applied to each study. Themes and constructs from all fifteen studies were coded and synthesised. Results Seven overarching themes emerged. ‘Sanctuary’, ‘loss of normality and perceived independence’, ‘feeling terrified’ and ‘fluctuating emotions’ illustrate the experiences of involuntary detention. The remaining themes reflect the factors that influence these experiences: ‘a continuum of person-centred practice’, ‘disempowerment’ and ‘intra-psychic coping’. Conclusions Participants varied in how they experienced involuntary detention. Some people experienced a sense of sanctuary, whereas others experienced loss, fear and trauma. People's experiences were influenced by the degree of actual or perceived person-centred and empowering care, which also had an impact on their coping style. Development of a therapeutic bond with clinicians was a key factor which influenced positive experiences of involuntary detention. The implications of the findings are discussed with reference to existing literature and recommendations are made for clinical practice. Ideas for future research are identified.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0020-7489
Date of Acceptance: 30 May 2016
Last Modified: 10 May 2018 14:15

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