The unnecessary suffering and abuse caused by healthcare professionals needs to stop: A study regarding experiences of abuse among female patients in a general psychiatric setting

Karin Örmon, Ulrica Hörberg


Objective: Healthcare, from a caring science perspective, aims to support the patients’ health processes. All healthcare is, however, not experienced as being caring by the patients. Consequences of abuse in healthcare (AHC) services have effects on the patients’ health and well-being. The aim of this study was to explore experiences of abuse from healthcare professionals among female patients in a general psychiatric clinic.
Methods: In the cross-sectional study design, data from female patients receiving outpatient or inpatient care at a general psychiatric clinic about their experiences of abuse were gathered by using the NorVold Abuse Questionnaire (NorAQ) Descriptive statistics were used to describe experiences of abuse in the health care sector.
Results: Fifty-six women reported abuse by healthcare professionals. Being offended or grossly degraded while visiting health services, was experienced by almost all the women (n = 50). Experiences that a “normal” event while visiting health services suddenly became a really terrible and insulting experience, without fully knowing how this could happen was experienced by 38 women in the study. During their current care episode at the general psychiatric clinic a majority of the female patients chose not to reveal their experiences of abuse in the health care sector (n = 34).
Conclusions: The fact that patients experience suffering and abuse from healthcare professionals is a serious problem that needs to be highlighted and discussed within all healthcare contexts. Attention needs to be paid to the suffering and abuse that is related to encounters and relationships between patients and healthcare professionals.

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Clinical Nursing Studies
ISSN 2324-7940(Print)   ISSN 2324-7959(Online)

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