Title

Occupations in a Secure Forensic Environment: The Meaning and Value

Presenter Information

Jane Cronin-Davis

Start Time

25-10-2008 9:40 AM

End Time

25-10-2008 10:10 AM

Abstract

Anecdotal evidence regarding the use of occupations with patients with personality disorders in forensic settings is beginning to emerge. This evidence, however has not to date been based on rigorous research. There is a documented need to develop the evidence-base in forensic settings as there is currently little research on which to base interventions (O’Connel & Farnworth, 2007). Occupational risk factors are, however, present for people with personality disorders and these influence past, present and future occupations. This paper will report on a research project carried out with eight men diagnosed with personality disorder, who were patients in a secure forensic setting. One of the aims of the research was to investigate the occupations in the men’s lives given their diagnostic category, and the environmental and legal restrictions placed on them. Additionally, the research was conducted to enable the men to have their own voice regarding their participation in occupations, as these patients are rarely asked for their views and perceptions, given their pejorative label. In-depth interviews were conducted with the men, and interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used to establish super-ordinate and sub-themes. The themes were interpreted from an occupational perspective. IPA as a research process allows data to speak for itself, with rich description; and privileges novelty and narrative, whilst acknowledging the temporal aspects of participants‚ experiences. IPA recognises the researcher’s part within the research process; moreover it can provide occupational science with the opportunity to broaden its methodological base. Participants in the study were asked about their individual experiences of occupational therapy and participating in activities or occupations. They revealed much about the significance and value they placed on engaging in occupations that had meaning to them in the hospital environment. They also revealed how they looked forward to the times when they were able to participate. The men also provided information as to how these occupations made a difference to their mental health and hospital admission.

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Oct 25th, 9:40 AM Oct 25th, 10:10 AM

Occupations in a Secure Forensic Environment: The Meaning and Value

Anecdotal evidence regarding the use of occupations with patients with personality disorders in forensic settings is beginning to emerge. This evidence, however has not to date been based on rigorous research. There is a documented need to develop the evidence-base in forensic settings as there is currently little research on which to base interventions (O’Connel & Farnworth, 2007). Occupational risk factors are, however, present for people with personality disorders and these influence past, present and future occupations. This paper will report on a research project carried out with eight men diagnosed with personality disorder, who were patients in a secure forensic setting. One of the aims of the research was to investigate the occupations in the men’s lives given their diagnostic category, and the environmental and legal restrictions placed on them. Additionally, the research was conducted to enable the men to have their own voice regarding their participation in occupations, as these patients are rarely asked for their views and perceptions, given their pejorative label. In-depth interviews were conducted with the men, and interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used to establish super-ordinate and sub-themes. The themes were interpreted from an occupational perspective. IPA as a research process allows data to speak for itself, with rich description; and privileges novelty and narrative, whilst acknowledging the temporal aspects of participants‚ experiences. IPA recognises the researcher’s part within the research process; moreover it can provide occupational science with the opportunity to broaden its methodological base. Participants in the study were asked about their individual experiences of occupational therapy and participating in activities or occupations. They revealed much about the significance and value they placed on engaging in occupations that had meaning to them in the hospital environment. They also revealed how they looked forward to the times when they were able to participate. The men also provided information as to how these occupations made a difference to their mental health and hospital admission.