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“It's still our child”. A qualitative interview study with parent carers in forensic mental health

  • Ellen Boldrup Tingleff
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Forensic Mental Health Research Unit Middelfart (RFM), Department of Regional Health Research, Faculty of Health Science, University of Southern Denmark & Psychiatric department Middelfart, Mental Health Services in the Region of Southern Denmark, Østre Hougvej 70, 5500 Middelfart, Denmark.
    Affiliations
    Forensic Mental Health Research Unit Middelfart (RFM), Department of Regional Health Research, Faculty of Health Science, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

    Psychiatric Department Middelfart, Mental Health Services in the Region of Southern Denmark, Denmark

    Nursing Education, Vejle, and Health Sciences Research Center, UCL University College, Denmark

    OPEN, Odense Service user data Explorative Network, Odense University Hospital/Department of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
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  • Sara Rowaert
    Affiliations
    Department of Special Needs Education, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Ghent University, Belgium
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  • Stinne Vinding
    Affiliations
    Nursing Education, Vejle, and Health Sciences Research Center, UCL University College, Denmark
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  • Tina Kirstine Vestphal
    Affiliations
    Forensic Mental Health Research Unit Middelfart (RFM), Department of Regional Health Research, Faculty of Health Science, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

    Psychiatric Department Middelfart, Mental Health Services in the Region of Southern Denmark, Denmark
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  • Rhonda Wilson
    Affiliations
    School of Nursing and Midwifery, College of Health, Medicine, and Wellbeing, The University of Newcastle, Australia

    School of Nursing, Massey University, New Zealand
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  • Frederik Alkier Gildberg
    Affiliations
    Forensic Mental Health Research Unit Middelfart (RFM), Department of Regional Health Research, Faculty of Health Science, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

    Psychiatric Department Middelfart, Mental Health Services in the Region of Southern Denmark, Denmark
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      Highlights

      • Carer involvement has a positive impact on service users’ illness trajectory.
      • Little is known specifically about parent carers in forensic mental health services.
      • Parents in forensic mental health services experience severe difficulties in getting support by the healthcare professionals.
      • Parent felt compelled to act in a demanding advocacy role, increasing the burden impact within the parents’ everyday lives.

      Abstract

      The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences and perceptions of parents in forensic mental health services with regard to their cooperation with healthcare professionals and their role as parent carers. 15 participants were interviewed using qualitative, in-depth interviews and transcripts were analysed thematically. The identified themes were ‘Medical dominance’, ‘Interactions with healthcare professionals’, and ‘Advocating for their daughter/son’. The themes were associated with the overall theme ‘perceived impact on the parents' everyday lives’. The results suggest that parent carers perceive a malalignment between the institutional medicalised treatment focus and the need for an integrated holistic approach, which would include them as partners.

      Keywords

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