Living by themselves? Nurses’ views on supported living for patients with long-term mental illness

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Keyword: Ethics, Mental illness
Publication year: 2006
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 11 Sustainable cities and communitiesSDG 3 Good health and wellbeing
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The main principle directing the development of supported dwellings for persons with long-term mental illness is that to live in the community would improve their quality of life. The aim of this study was to describe psychiatric nurses' experiences of different types of supported dwelling for persons with long-term mental illness, and their views on what they consider to be important principles to provide for in order to facilitate their social integration into the community. Nine psychiatric nurses were interviewed. A qualitative content analysis revealed 'attempting to uphold the principle, respect for the patient's right to self-determination' as the main theme, which was linked to three sub-themes: the nurses' view on their moral responsibility; the nurses' views on social norms that patients must follow in order to be accepted by their neighbours; and the nurses' views on supported dwelling of good quality. The nurses perceived that personal contact between the neighbour and the mentally ill person was one essential way to reduce fear of the mentally ill person. They viewed themselves as a link between the mentally ill person and other neighbours. Without the personal contact between the mentally ill person and the neighbours, there may be a risk that the integration will fail no matter how excellent the supported dwelling is framed.


Kim Lützen

Högskolan Dalarna; Omvårdnad
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