Supporting the Sexual Intimacy Needs of Patients in a Longer Stay Inpatient Forensic Setting


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12 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To explore perceptions of nurses and patients regarding sexual intimacy in a long-term mental health unit. Design and Methods: Qualitative exploratory design including in-depth semi-structured individual interviews with 12 registered nurses and 10 long-term patients of a forensic mental health hospital. Findings: The theme of supporting sexual intimacy was identified and described in this paper and included the following subthemes for nurses: It depends on the setting, need for guidelines and consent, and for patients—it depends on the setting; and need for support. Practice Implications: The findings suggest that current guidelines regarding sexual intimacy in acute inpatient settings may not be appropriate in long-term facilities, with a need for guidelines to specifically address this setting. Furthermore, support for sexual intimacy needs of patients was identified as a strong need for patients and they believed not currently met. Nurses have an important role to play as part of their holistic approach to care and barriers to providing this aspect of care must be overcome to ensure patients' rights are respected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-247
Number of pages9
JournalPerspectives in Psychiatric Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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