Examining professionals' perspectives on sexuality for service users of a forensic psychiatry unit

Article


Dein, Kalpana Elizabeth, Williams, Paul Simon, Volkonskaia, Irina, Kanyeredzi, A., Reavey, Paula and Leavey, Gerard 2015. Examining professionals' perspectives on sexuality for service users of a forensic psychiatry unit. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. 44, pp. 15-23.
AuthorsDein, Kalpana Elizabeth, Williams, Paul Simon, Volkonskaia, Irina, Kanyeredzi, A., Reavey, Paula and Leavey, Gerard
Abstract

Very little is known about the sexual activities of psychiatric patients during their stay in hospital and beyond. In this article, we have explored how mental health professionals working within a forensic psychiatric unit construct the issue of patient sexuality in order to ascertain the range of sexual possibilities open to patients. Drawing on interviews with twenty four participants — psychiatrists and clinical psychologists (clinical staff), we examined how participants made sense of patient sexuality and their clinical judgments in relation to them. Using a thematic analysis, we were able to identify a number of relevant themes emerging, including a) what the limits of acceptable sexual behaviour were judged to be, b) discrimination against transgender and same sex relationships, c) vulnerability among female patients and therapeutic efficacy, and d) an abject fear of patient pregnancy. Furthermore, a general concern throughout was the putative professional conflict between the clinical and ward staff. Further discussion regarding the potential for clearer policy on patient sexuality and further training for professionals is developed in the final section.

JournalInternational Journal of Law and Psychiatry
Journal citation44, pp. 15-23
ISSN01602527
Year2015
PublisherElsevier
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.ijlp.2015.08.027
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijlp.2015.08.027
Publication dates
Print19 Sep 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited07 Sep 2017
Copyright information© 2016 Elsevier
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