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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2007

Alyson Kettles and Helen Walker

The nature and problems of forensic nursing research are presented and discussed. The background to and current state of forensic nursing research are described. Some…

Abstract

The nature and problems of forensic nursing research are presented and discussed. The background to and current state of forensic nursing research are described. Some differences between the nature of forensic psychiatric, psychological and forensic nursing research are identified. Forensic psychiatric research deals primarily with drug treatments and psychological research deals with specific therapies often referred to as ‘talking therapies’, whereas forensic psychiatric nursing research deals with care of the patient and all that entails, such as physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual and social care. Issues identified include the power gradient and forensic nurses' position on that gradient, the application of Lee's typology of research as threat and Mason's (2003) discussion of the typology in the forensic context. The article concludes with some discussion of the strategic direction required for further development.

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The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

Alyson Kettles and Phil Woods

Forensic nursing is a term applied to nurses working in many different areas of clinical practice, such as high security hospitals, medium secure units, low secure units…

Abstract

Forensic nursing is a term applied to nurses working in many different areas of clinical practice, such as high security hospitals, medium secure units, low secure units, acute mental health wards, specialised private hospitals, psychiatric intensive care units, court liaison schemes, and outpatient, community and rehabilitation services. Rarely is the term defined in the general literature and as a concept it is multifaceted. Concept analysis is a method for exploring and evaluating the meaning of words. It gives precise definitions, both theoretical and operational, for use in theory, clinical practice and research. A concept analysis provides a logical basis for defining terms and helps us to refine and define a concept that derives from practice, research and theory. This paper uses the strategy of concept analysis to explore the term ‘forensic nursing’ and finds a working definition of forensic mental health nursing. The historical background and literature are reviewed using concept analysis to bring the term into focus and to define it more clearly. Forensic nursing is found to derive from forensic practice. A proposed definition of forensic nursing is given.

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The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2001

Alyson Kettles, Cindy Peternelj‐Taylor, Phil Woods, Anita Hufft, Tom Van Erven, Hans Martin, Uwe Donisch‐Siedel, Alison Kuppen, Colin Holmes, Roger Almvik, Trond Hatling and David Robinson

Over the last decade there has been considerable growth in the role that psychiatric nurses play in providing care for the mentally disordered offender (MDO). Yet there…

Abstract

Over the last decade there has been considerable growth in the role that psychiatric nurses play in providing care for the mentally disordered offender (MDO). Yet there has been little written about this specialty from a global perspective. Examination of the literature illustrates a large body of research and development programmes reporting the development of services to the MDO, for example, self‐harm and clinical risk assessment. Such service development is growing at a rapid pace, yet training and education to meet the needs of this patient group is something that is added onto post registration courses. Furthermore, the lack of vision and career pathways into forensic care is stifling a growing profession, which is subject to continual permanent change and investigation. Leaders and professional associations have contributed little to this unique nursing group which plays a major role in the multidisciplinary care of a very demanding set of patient needs.

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The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Tom Mason

Forensic nursing is a fast‐developing branch of psychiatric nursing and now at an international level covers many aspects of practice. As its field of study develops to…

Abstract

Forensic nursing is a fast‐developing branch of psychiatric nursing and now at an international level covers many aspects of practice. As its field of study develops to incorporate working with vicyims, survivors and offenders, it becomes increasingly important to establish the evidence base for the practice areas. This paper outlines these developing areas and highlights the expansive nature when see from an international perspective.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 2 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

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Article
Publication date: 8 December 2014

Mark F Dalgarno and Sharon A Riordan

– The purpose of this paper is to explore the lived experiences of learning disability nurses working within forensic services, and their views on their practice as a speciality.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the lived experiences of learning disability nurses working within forensic services, and their views on their practice as a speciality.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative, semi-structured interview-based design was used and participant's voices were examined through interpretive phenomenological analysis.

Findings

Nurses explored a range of topics related to their practice and overall, five superordinate themes were developed. Forensic nursing as being both the same and different to generic nursing, the journey, and the emotional challenge of forensic nursing, the balancing act of everyday practice and the role of language within forensic nursing practice.

Originality/value

Very little research has examined the views of learning disability nurses within the forensic field. This study gives both a voice to these nurses and suggests areas of interest both for research and for clinicians to consider in their practice.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8824

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Article
Publication date: 21 July 2010

Pamela Inglis

The forensic nursing role is complex, creates tensions within itself and is underpinned by core values, knowledge, skills and personal attributes; often referred to as…

Abstract

The forensic nursing role is complex, creates tensions within itself and is underpinned by core values, knowledge, skills and personal attributes; often referred to as ‘good nurse’ characteristics (Smith & Godfrey, 2002). Forensic nurses perform unique, multifaceted roles; they are viewed by patients as ‘a source of treatment, comfort and advice’, but also as ‘part of the system that deprives them of their liberty’ (United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting & University of Central Lancashire (UKCC & UCLAN), 1999: 42). This is problematic both for nurses and patients. Although appearing as opposites, security and therapeutic characteristics of nurses can and do co‐exist in forensic nursing (Peternelji‐Taylor & Johnson, 1996). Through critical analysis of dialogue from interviews and focus groups, this paper depicts forensic practice with people with a learning disability through a study that explores apparent ‘truths’ about such people detained in forensic settings (here referred to as ‘the men’) and the staff who work with them. Beliefs about nursing characteristics were exposed through discourses present in dialogue between the men and the staff. General research questions included: (1) What are the discourses related to learning disability and forensic practice? (2) What ideologies underpin and justify forensic practice? (3) What in particular are the positive discourses? Related discussion is primarily concerned with the way that staff and men share relationships and with characteristics of the nursing staff. Findings generally suggest that the staff may be viewed as prison wardens, leading to relationships of mistrust. Paradoxically, there are also positive discourses identifying warm and therapeutic relationships and good nurse characteristics of the staff. This may have practice implications, such as enabling staff to hear positive views expressed by the men and begin to develop metrics of ‘good’ forensic nurse characteristics that may positively affect treatment.

Details

Journal of Learning Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-0927

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Alyson Kettles and Lesley Adams

Travel bursaries enable staff to visit centres of excellence in order to study practice that is different or innovative. This study tour enabled visitors to study the…

Abstract

Travel bursaries enable staff to visit centres of excellence in order to study practice that is different or innovative. This study tour enabled visitors to study the practice in Provincial Forensic Assessment Units, Remand Centres and Prisons, in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 2 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

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Article
Publication date: 22 May 2019

Helen Walker, Lindsay Tulloch, Karen Boa, Gordon Ritchie and John Thompson

A major difficulty identified many years ago in psychiatric care is the shortage of appropriate instruments with which to carry out valid and reliable therapeutic…

Abstract

Purpose

A major difficulty identified many years ago in psychiatric care is the shortage of appropriate instruments with which to carry out valid and reliable therapeutic assessments which are behaviourally based and therefore appropriate for use in a variety of contexts. The aim of this project was to ascertain the utility of a forensic nursing risk assessment tool - Behavioural Status Index (BEST-Index). The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

A multi-site cross-sectional survey was undertaken using mixed method design. Quantitative data was generated using BEST-Index to allow comparisons across three different levels of security (high, medium and low) in Scotland and Ireland. Qualitative data were gathered from patients and multi-disciplinary team (MDT) members using semi-structured interviews and questionnaire.

Findings

Measured over an 18-month period, there was a statistically significant improvement in behaviour, when comparing patients in high and medium secure hospitals. Two key themes emerged from patient and staff perspectives: “acceptance of the process” and “production and delivery of information”, respectively. The wider MDT acknowledge the value of nursing risk assessment, but require adequate information to enable them to interpret findings. Collaborating with patients to undertake risk assessments can enhance future care planning.

Research limitations/implications

Studies using cross-section can only provide information at fixed points in time.

Practical implications

The BEST-Index assessment tool is well established in clinical practice and has demonstrated good utility.

Originality/value

This project has served to highlight the unique contribution of BEST-Index to both staff and patients alike and confirm its robustness and versatility across differing levels of security in Scottish and Irish forensic mental health services.

Details

Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2001

Gill Chalder and Peter Nolan

A survey of the views of members of a forensic mental health team on the post of forensic nurse consultant was carried out by means of a questionnaire. All respondents…

Abstract

A survey of the views of members of a forensic mental health team on the post of forensic nurse consultant was carried out by means of a questionnaire. All respondents were supportive of the development of the post and hoped that the consultant would be the ‘voice’ of nursing, a strong individual with the confidence and competence to challenge traditional interprofessional boundaries and to raise the profile of mental health nurses within the clinical team. Concerns, however, were expressed that the post might have too many facets and that the consultant could become a victim of elevated expectations, unable to meet all the demands. Respondents advised that in order to avoid consultant burnout, the role needs to be clearly defined, to retain a clinical focus and to provide time for continuing professional development. For postholders to be effective, it is essential that they are supported at all levels of the organisations in which they work.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2020

Dominic Burke and Angela Cocoman

Examining the education and training needs of forensic nurses is paramount as services move from the older institutions to new care settings. The purpose of this study was…

Abstract

Purpose

Examining the education and training needs of forensic nurses is paramount as services move from the older institutions to new care settings. The purpose of this study was to identify Irish Forensic nurses perceived deficits in their knowledge and skills to assist them to provide effective seamless care for individuals with an intellectual disability within their forensic mental health service, so that appropriate training could be provided.

Design/methodology/approach

Training needs analysis (TNA) procedures are used as a way of establishing the continuing processional development of staff, as they seek to identify the gaps between the knowledge and skills of an individual and the need for further training. A training needs tool developed by Hicks and Hennessy (2011) was used and completed by nurses working in an Irish forensic mental health service. A total of 140 surveys were circulated and 74 were completed (51 per cent response).

Findings

The top priority training needs identified were for additional training in research and audit and in the use of technology. Other self-identified training needs included additional training in behavioural management for challenging behaviour, understanding mental health and intellectual disability and dual diagnosis, training in enhancing communication skills and how to work with patients who have an intellectual disability patients specific training on autistic spectrum disorders and a guide and template for advance individual care planning and for caring for the physical health needs and promoting the physical health needs of these patients.

Originality/value

Despite there being a vast range of training issues identified, the majority of nurses appear to have a clear idea of their training needs to ensure the provision of seamless care for individuals with an intellectual disability within a forensic mental health setting. This TNA has identified the specific needs of nursing staff working at different positions across the interface of intellectual disability and forensic mental health care.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8824

Keywords

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