Living in a forensic-psychiatric institution as a life perspective? – Quality of life and needs of long-term forensic psychiatric patients

Written by: Martin Feißt, Sabrina Wiecek, Bernd Dimmek and Inga Markiewicz

Across Europe an increase in the duration of the placement of patients in theforensic hospital can be observedas well as in GermanyThis development makes it imperative to deal with this topic and the related legalsocial and ethical issues. A cooperation between the LWL Academy of Forensic Psychiatrythe University of Witten/Herdecke and the Institute for Psychiatry and Neurology in Warschau, Poland,  an educational research project on quality of life of long-term patients in forensic hospital” has been taking place (up to and including the winter semester 2015/16).

The aim of this project is to attain a better understanding of the needs of patients on the basis of qualitative interviews with patients and staffwhich may be important for the design of the accommodation and for therapeutic purposes.

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Client Service Centre – Ex-User Involvement at the “Woenselse Poort” in the Netherlands

The process of recovery is often more difficult for forensic psychiatric clients than for people who are treated within the ‘regular’ mental healthcare system. Within a secure facility such as De Woenselse Poort (‘the Woensel Gateway’), the Client Service Centre was set up with a view to offering clients more support and opportunities. Very soon after admission, the Client Service Centre can be called upon to help clients to help themselves and develop their skills and acquire general knowledge, separate from their treatment program and hospital ward. In this way, the Client Service Centre tries to assist clients in their recovery process.

The complete article – written by Toon Walravens – about the Client Service Centre and ex-User Involvement can be read here.

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Long-Term Suicide Risk in Forensic Psychiatric Patients

Based on the article Long-Term Suicide Risk in Forensic Psychiatric Patients by Clarke, M., Davies, S., Clive, H. & Duggan, C. (2011) in Archives of Suicide Research, 15: 1, 16 — 28

It is often said that psychiatric patients are a greater risk to themselves than others; while this may be true for general samples, the risk that patient treated in Forensic Psychiatric Units present to themselves, rather than to others, which by the nature of the sample is high, had not been a focus for study. Clarke et al. (2011) investigated the long-term suicide risk in forensic psychiatric patients. They performed a retrospective study, which considered the mortality outcomes of a cohort of 595 former patients of a medium secure unit in Leicester, England. Patients were admitted during the 20-year period between 1983 and 2003. The study found an increased risk of mortality in former forensic patients, from all causes, and particularly from suicide.

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