TRAINING SCHOOL 2015 – Koper, Slovenia – 14-17th July 2015

Written by Ana Cristina Neves (Forensic Psychology Assistant Professor at Instituto Superior de Ciências da Saúde Egas Moniz, Portugal) and Valentina Campani (Psychology Master Student, trainee at Reggio Emilia Forensic Unit, Italy)

The Training School (TS) was focused on the concepts of quality of life (QoL) and needs within a long-term forensic psychiatric context, how to assess them and how to improve conditions of long-term patients while meeting their needs. As one of the aims of the TS was the interaction between participants, we were just 18, what allowed the experience of a friendly and functional environment. Treatment realities vary substantially within Europe according to different legal frameworks and resources, so group work and discussion was actively stimulated by the trainers. They also provided valuable advises on how to integrate both concepts into everyday practice.

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How do Dutch LFPC-patients experience their quality of life and are their case managers aware of these experiences?

Written by Sandra Schel
Junior Researcher, Pompefoundation, The Netherlands

Quality of life is seen as an important treatment goal in Dutch LFPC. Since 2007 QoL has been measured on a yearly basis at the LFPC-wards of the Dutch Pompefoundation, using the Forensic Inpatient Quality of Life Questionnaire (FQL; Vorstenbosch, Bulten, Bouman, & Braun, 2007). The FQL is a setting- and disease-specific questionnaire for QoL-assessment in long-care forensic psychiatry, which is based on patients’ and forensic psychiatric nurses’ experiences and their perceptions on quality of life (Vorstenbosch, Bulten, Bouman, & Braun, 2010). In Dutch LFPC every member of the forensic psychiatric nursing staff is linked to specific patients. Therefore, additionally, Vorstenbosch and colleagues developed a proxy version of the FQL, which consists of exactly the same questions, but then rephrased as to how the forensic psychiatric nurse assigned to the patient (henceforth: case manager) thinks the patient would answer.

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Attitudes towards sexual expression in professionals in forensic psychiatry in different EU countries

Written by Shaz Majid
Research Assistant, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Nottingham

Sexuality, sexual relationships and sexual functioning are important quality-of-life issues for patients with mental disorders (Assalian, P., Fraser, R., Tempier, R., & Cohen, D., 2000; Dobal & Torkelson 2004). Although sexual interaction is not a specifically protected right, a person’s right to consensual sexual activity, including those persons involuntarily detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA), is implicitly inferred through Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) which upholds one’s right to privacy, personal dignity, autonomy and social interaction. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) further supports sexual freedom of mental health patients. Article 12 of ICESCR establishes the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. This includes the right to control one’s health and body, including sexual and reproductive freedom.

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Patient Involvement

Written by Franco Scarpa, Patient Involvement Coordinator of the COST Action and, Psychiatrist and Director of  Unità Operativa Complessa of USL 11 in Tuscany.

A key recommendation of our COST Action is the involvement of patients in the activities of the Action. This involvement may come from patients and their relatives individually, or from patient boards, where such boards exist. The aim of Patient Involvement here is to provide users of long term forensic psychiatric care services a platform for input, where they can express their ideas and opinions on our two objectives, 1) reducing the length of treatment for long term forensic psychiatric patients and 2) improving the in-care life experience for long term forensic psychiatric patients, measured through the use of Quality of Life (QoL) indicators. To begin with, we will be collecting written contributions from patients, their families, industry experts, and others with ties to long term forensic psychiatric patients. This will provide foundations for continued patient involvement.

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Characteristics and needs of long-stay patients in high and medium secure forensic-psychiatric care: Implications for service organization

Written by Prof. Birgit Völlm,
Clinical Professor and Readerin Forensic Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Nottingham

 

This report summarises the research progress we have made on ‘Characteristics and needs of long-stay patients in high and medium secure forensic-psychiatric care: Implications for service organisation’. The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) UK has funded this 3-year study, which we are two thirds through, as of the recent quarterly meeting – the ‘Project Management Group and Service User Reference Group meeting’ – which took place in mid-January.

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