Forensic mental health nurses' experiences of rebuilding the therapeutic relationship after an episode of physical restraint in forensic services in Ireland: A qualitative study
Few studies have explored how forensic mental health nurses can rebuild the therapeutic relationship following an episode of physical restraint in the acute forensic setting. In this study, we aimed to redress this gap in the literature by exploring with forensic mental health nurses the factors that enable or hinder the rebuilding of the therapeutic relationship following an episode of physical restraint. A qualitative study design was used to capture participants' experiences, views and perceptions of the therapeutic relationship following an episode of physical restraint in the acute forensic setting. Data were collected through individual interviews with forensic mental health nurses (n=10) working in an acute forensic setting. Interviews were audio recorded, and transcribed verbatim and accounts were analysed using thematic analysis. Four themes were identified: ‘Building a Recovery Focused Therapeutic Relationship’; ‘Authoritarian Role’; ‘Inevitable Imbalance’; ‘Rebuilding the Therapeutic Relationship’; plus two sub-themes ‘Facilitators to rebuilding’ and ‘Barriers to rebuilding’. Findings suggest that an inevitable imbalance exists in building a recovery-focused therapeutic relationship and at times, is hindered by the authoritarian role of the forensic mental health nurse. Recommendations for changes in clinical practice and in upcoming policies should incorporate a dedicated debrief room and protected time for staff to debrief effectively following restraint. Routine post-restraint-focused clinical supervision would also be beneficial to mental health nursing staff.
PublicationInternational Journal of Mental Health Nursing
PublisherWiley and Sons
Department or School
- Nursing and Midwifery