Policies on sexual expression in forensic psychiatric settings in different European countries
- Publisher: BioMed Central
International Journal of Mental Health Systems,
Long-stay patients | Health Policy | Phychiatric Mental Health | Sexual expression | European policies | Mental health | Human rights | Forensic psychiatric hospitals | Patient relationships | Research | Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health | Psychiatry and Mental health
Background Sexual expression by forensic psychiatric patients is poorly researched. Methods Forensic experts representing 14 European countries were interviewed to explore the diverse ways in which sexual expression within forensic settings is handled. Results No country had a national policy, although many had local policies or shared practices. Progressive approaches to patient sexuality were evident in nine of the countries sampled. The UK appeared the most prohibiting and excluding, its protocols apparently based on risk aversion and lack of emphasis or consideration of patients’ sexual needs. Conclusions Uniform national policy supporting patients’ sexual expression would provide significant improvements. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13033-016-0037-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorised users.