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Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2012 Sep;58(5):496-504. doi: 10.1177/0020764011408658. Epub 2011 Aug 3.

Trust, choice and power in mental health care: experiences of patients with psychosis.

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1
Cornwall Partnership Trust and Peninsula Medical School, Liskeard, UK. richard.laugharne@pms.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Trust, choice and power are critical issues in clinical practice, public policies and a post-modern understanding of mental health care. We aimed to investigate the experiences and attitudes of patients with psychosis in relation to trust, choice and power.

METHOD:

We conducted 20 in-depth interviews with patients with psychotic disorders in care of NHS services. The interviews were subjected to thematic analysis.

DISCUSSION:

Patients discussed aspects of their care in terms of dimensions that enhance or undermine trust, choice and power. Two interpretive themes emerged from this data. First, patients perceive the need for a shifting balance of power, according to the severity of their illness and their own experience of care, but feel that threats of coercion and neglect disable them. Second, they appreciate the expertise of clinicians, but particularly value 'the personal touch' that goes beyond this expertise, including personal disclosure about their own lives, common acts of kindness and conversation outside clinical matters. Patients view trust as a two-way process with responsibility shared between patient and clinician.

CONCLUSIONS:

The active involvement of patients with psychosis in their individual care may be strengthened, particularly when they are not acutely ill and have more experience of their illness. While patients value expertise and respect in interactions with clinicians, they also appreciate a 'personal touch', which may go beyond current notions of professionalism.

PMID:
21813486
DOI:
10.1177/0020764011408658
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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