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J R Soc Med. 2004 Oct;97(10):477-9.

Sexual activity among patients in psychiatric hospital wards.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Imperial College London, UK. j.warner@imperial.ac.uk

Abstract

In psychiatric hospitals, sexual activity between patients raises special difficulties regarding consent. We undertook a questionnaire survey of inpatients in the mental health units of three hospitals to identify the nature and frequency of sexual activity. A contemporaneous staff questionnaire was used in an attempt to validate the patient reports. Of the 100 patients who participated (response rate 60%), 30 reported engaging in some form of sexual activity including 10 who had sexual intercourse. All sexual intercourse was consensual, but only 2 respondents used condoms. Staff questionnaires suggested levels of sexual activity congruent with patient reports. This survey underlines the conflict between an individual's right to sexual expression and the need to protect vulnerable patients.

PMID:
15459258
PMCID:
PMC1079615
DOI:
10.1258/jrsm.97.10.477
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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