Nurses’ Views Highlight a Need for the Systematic Development of Patient Safety Culture in Forensic Psychiatry Nursing

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Although forensic nurses work with the most challenging psychiatric patients and manifest a safety culture in their interactions with patients, there have been few studies on patient safety culture in forensic psychiatric nursing.


The aim of this qualitative study was to describe nurses’ views of patient safety culture in their working unit and daily hospital work in 2 forensic hospitals in Finland.


Data were collected over a period of 1 month by inviting nurses to answer an open-ended question in an anonymous Web-based questionnaire. A qualitative inductive analysis was performed on nurses’ (n = 72) written descriptions of patient safety culture in state-owned forensic hospitals where most Finnish forensic patients are treated.


Six main themes were identified: “systematization of an open and trusting communication culture,” “visible and close interaction between managers and staff,” “nonpunitive responses to errors, learning and developing,” “balancing staff and patient perspectives on safety culture,” “operational safety guidelines,” and “adequate human resources to ensure safety.”


The findings highlight the influence of the prevailing culture on safety behaviors and outcomes for both healthcare workers and patients. Additionally, they underline the importance of an open culture with open communication and protocols.

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