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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Recovery orientation in mental health inpatient settings: Inpatient experiences?

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Offering mental health treatment in line with a recovery-oriented practice has become an objective in the mental health services in many countries. However, applying recovery-oriented practice in inpatient settings seems challenged by unclear and diverging definitions of the concept in and the organization of these settings. In Denmark, educational and organizational efforts have been made to organize inpatient services with a recovery-oriented approach. Hence, we aimed to explore whether and how these efforts are reflected in the inpatients’ experiences of their care and treatment. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 inpatients from two mental health inpatient wards using an interview guide based on factors from the Recovery Self-Assessment. Qualitative content analysis was applied in the analysis. Six themes covering the participants’ experiences were identified. The participants felt accepted and protected in the ward and found comfort in being around other people but missed talking and engaging with health professionals. They described limited choice and influence on the course of their treatment, and low information levels regarding their treatment, which they considered to consist predominantly of medication. Furthermore, they described feeling continuously observed and assessed from a distance by health professionals. Like the sparse previous research among inpatients, the results highlight ambivalent experiences of health professionals’ support and ward structure as well as the medical treatment hegemony. As such, the educational and organizational efforts of introducing recovery-oriented practices in the wards seemed not very well reflected in the participants’ experiences of their stay.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1177-1187
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

Bibliographical note


    Research areas

  • inpatient, mental health, qualitative content analysis, recovery orientation, user perspective

ID: 53798515