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Title: Patients' experiences of safety on an acute mental health ward
Author: Wood, Daniel
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2001
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A sense of safety is assumed to be a vital component of the therapeutic milieu, however, recent research has suggested that the incidence of violence on mental health wards may be increasing. Studies of safety in psychiatric settings have tended to focus on the experience of staff, with little consideration of the experience of patients. This study used a qualitative methodology to explore and describe the experience of being a patient on a mental health ward, specifically with regard to feelings of safety and threat. Sixteen interviews with both patients and staff on an acute mental health ward were recorded and transcribed. The Ward Atmosphere Scale (Moos, 1996) was administered to participants to provide a description of the ward environment and a context for these interviews. The transcripts were analysed using an interpretative phenomenological approach (Smith, 1995). A number of themes emerged with regard to situations in which patients felt unsafe, staff/patient communication, and actions that staff took that they believed made patients feel more safe. Important differences and similarities also emerged between staff and patient accounts. The results are discussed with special attention to their possible clinical utility.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available