Health SA Gesondheid

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Psychiatric in-patients‘ experience of being secluded in a specific hospital in Lesotho

G N Ntshaba, Y Havenga


This qualitative, explorative, descriptive and contextual study was undertaken to explore and describe the experiences of psychiatric in-patients who are secluded in a specific hospital in Lesotho. Evidence about the rationale and appropriate use of seclusion as well as promotion of mental health in secluded patients has been expressed and
documented in the literature. The mental health legislation of Lesotho does not specifically address seclusion of psychiatric in-patients. This research is crucial because it has not been conducted before and information pertaining to it is limited. Purposive sampling was used. Data were generated through eleven (11) individual semi-structured phenomenological interviews. One central open question was posed to the participants. Patients were interviewed until saturation was reached. Field notes were taken. All interviews were audio taped and transcribed verbatim. Tesch's (in Creswell, 1994:142) method of open coding was used to analyse data. Results where described, pertaining to the categories identified. The main categories were: (1) the experience of being in a prison; (2) seclusion experienced
as a punishment, which created an environment where human rights violations were experienced; (3) personnel factors leading to an experience of not being supported and cared for; and (4) emotional responses to the seclusion experience. A literature control followed the description of the results.

Keywords: psychiatric in-patients; experience; seclusion; hospital

Health SA Gesondheid Vol. 12 (4) 2007: pp. 3-12
AJOL African Journals Online