Behavioral change in patients with severe self-injurious behavior: a patient's perspective.
There has been an increase in the number of Swedish psychiatric patients who self-harm, yet self-harm is seldom described in published research. The aim of this study was to describe how people who self-harm experience received care and their desired care. Nine participants, all Swedish women who had been treated for inpatient or outpatient psychiatric care, narrated their experiences of care for self-harm. Using qualitative content analysis, two themes were formulated: 'Expecting to be confirmed while being confirmed fosters hopefulness'; and, 'Expecting to be confirmed while not being confirmed stifles hopefulness'. Each of these themes emerged from five subthemes that clustered around positive and negative aspects of being seen-not being seen, being valued-being stigmatized, being connected-disconnected, being believed-doubted, and being understood-not being understood. Of significance is for nurses to view persons who self-harm as human beings and to grasp the importance of being confirmed by staff that can foster hopefulness in persons who self-harm, yet realize the possibility of the paradoxical nature of hopefulness and being confirmed.