Nurses’ attitudes towards sexual relationships between patients in high security psychiatric hospitals in England: An exploratory qualitative study

RUANE, Jean and HAYTER, Mark (2008). Nurses’ attitudes towards sexual relationships between patients in high security psychiatric hospitals in England: An exploratory qualitative study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 45 (12), 1731-1741.

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Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/...
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2008.06.003
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    Abstract

    Background The issue of relationships between patients in long-term care settings can present nurses with numerous challenges. However, addressing this element of patient care is recognised as an important element of nursing in this sphere of practice. What nurses think about patient sexual relationships and the difficulties of incorporating these into care is closely linked to the care they provide. However, the issue of patients sexual relationships within high security psychiatric hospitals is a relatively poorly researched area of clinical practice. Aim To explore the attitudes towards patients’ sexual relationships held by nurses working in high security psychiatric hospitals in England. Methods and participants A qualitative methodology was employed with data collected from 10 in-depth interviews with nurses working within secure psychiatric hospitals in England. Interview data were subjected to thematic analysis. Results Practitioners reject permissive policy in relation to patients’ sexual relationships on account of perceived perpetuation of abuse and exploitation. Practices and attitudes are dominated by personal (lay) values that seek to restrict patient experience and undermine professional mores whilst also seeming to uphold a professional duty of care. Conclusion Lay understandings are constructed as moral rights and priorities that are of higher order concern than professional values or the rights of the individual. This constitutes a clash of values and the minimisation of professional mores within the clinical context raises questions about the role of professional teaching, knowledge and policy in relation to professional socialisation.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: ** Article version: AM ** Embargo end date: 31-12-9999 ** From Elsevier via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for AM version of this article: This article is under embargo with an end date yet to be finalised. **Journal IDs: issn 00207489 **History: issue date 31-12-2008; accepted 16-06-2008
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2008.06.003
    Page Range: 1731-1741
    SWORD Depositor: Colin Knott
    Depositing User: Colin Knott
    Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2020 15:59
    Last Modified: 06 Oct 2020 15:59
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/27355

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