Patients’ experiences of place and space after a relocation to evidence-based designed forensic psychiatric hospitals
Journal article, 2021

Forensic hospitals provide care for incarcerated patients who have committed a crime under the influence of serious mental illness. The care and (re)habilitation of the target group require highly competent staff and treatment strategies as well as purpose-built facilities that promote successful recovery. The aim of this study was to examine patients’ experiences of place and space in new, purpose-built, evidence-based designed forensic psychiatric facilities in terms of supporting everydayness. A qualitative methodology was chosen. In total, 19 patients agreed to participate. Data were collected through photovoice (a combination of photographs and interviews) at three forensic hospitals, according to an evidence-based design and the concept of person-centred care in Sweden. The data were analysed through thematic content analysis. Four themes emerged from the data, revealing the patients’ experiences of the new buildings: (i) having a private place, (ii) upholding one’s sense of self, (iii) feelings of comfort and harmony, and (iv) remaining connected to one’s life. The findings reveal that purpose-built environments can support everyday living and well-being and can create comfort. This is considered highly therapeutic by the patients. In conclusion, the findings of this study are of imperative importance in the design of health-promoting forensic hospitals.


qualitative research

forensic psychiatric nursing

built environment


evidence-based facility design


Sepideh Olausson

University of Gothenburg

Sahlgrenska University Hospital

Helle Wijk

Sahlgrenska University Hospital

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Design

Inger Johansson Berglund

University of Gothenburg

Anneli Pihlgren

University of Gothenburg

Ella Danielson

University of Gothenburg

International Journal of Mental Health Nursing

1445-8330 (ISSN) 14470349 (eISSN)

Vol. In Press

Subject Categories

Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy

Other Health Sciences






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