The Individual Experience of Aging Patients and the Current Service Provision in the Context of Italian Forensic Psychiatry: A Case Study

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Abstract

Introduction

After the recent development of residential units for the execution of security measures managed by the National Health Service and the closing down of forensic psychiatric hospitals, no study has been conducted to investigate the individual experience of aging patients and to assess whether the new service is adequately meeting their needs. We aimed to explore the experience of the service of a sample of patients aged 50 years and above living in one of the Italian residential units for the execution of security measures.

Methods

We adopted a case study design and included a sample of five patients. We collected their basic demographic data, administered the Camberwell Assessment Needs Forensic Short Version and carried out in-depth qualitative semi-structured interviews.

Results

Results from the Camberwell Assessment Needs Forensic Short Version evidenced that met needs were more prevalent than unmet needs. The qualitative interviews demonstrated high levels of satisfaction around accommodation, healthcare provision, activities, availability of benefits and company, and lower levels of satisfaction around psychological and practical support.

Discussion

This study gave voice to aging forensic psychiatric patients and provided through personal accounts, based on their lived experience, preliminary evidence around the benefits and limitations of the Italian residential forensic psychiatric system for this age group. Implications for clinical nursing forensic practitioners operating within different service frameworks are discussed.

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