Full project title: Practitioners of coercion. How use of coercion informs mental health care professionals and their practice
The use of coercion within mental health care in Norway is under increased scrutiny. Despite common jurisdiction, attention has been brought to a variety of practices and different degrees of transparency among service providers in regard to use of coercive measures such as physical restraints, seclusion and involuntary medication.
This leaves pressing questions, key to this study: What informs the moral deliberation made prior to using coercion and how does the experience of using coercion inform the self-understanding of the professional and thus future decision-making processes pertaining to the use of coercive measures? These are questions pursued in the project, of direct relevance to the patient-care, and thus also for policy makers, educational institutions and employing organizations.
Through a hermeneutic-phenomenological approach, in-depth interviews in combination with expressive writing, the study will explore how health professionals working in mental health experience, describe and reflect upon patient encounters involving use of coercion. Part of the exploration will be how the health professional's moral judgements relate to the context(s) in which (s)he is situated.
Both those exercising coercion through physical restraint and involuntary medication (nurses, professionals without health profession) and those formally making the decisions (psychiatrists and specialists in psychology) are enrolled in the study. A consideration of these simultaneously has not been undertaken before, but is very much called for.
Principal Investigator: Associate Professor Kjetil Moen