Involving patients and families in the analysis of suicides, suicide attempts, and other sentinel events in mental healthcare: A qualitative study in the Netherlands. A qualitative study in The Netherlands

Renée Bouwman*, Bert de Graaff, Derek de Beurs, Hester van de Bovenkamp, Ian Leistikow, Roland Friele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Involving patients and families in mental healthcare is becoming more commonplace, but little is known about how they are involved in the aftermath of serious adverse events related to quality of care (sentinel events, including suicides). This study explores the role patients and families have in formal processes after sentinel events in Dutch mental healthcare. We analyzed the existing policies of 15 healthcare organizations and spoke with 35 stakeholders including patients, families, their counselors, the national regulator, and professionals. Respondents argue that involving patients and families is valuable to help deal with the event emotionally, provide additional information, and prevent escalation. Results indicate that involving patients and families is only described in sentinel event policies to a limited extent. In practice, involvement consists mostly of providing aftercare and sharing information about the event by providers. Complexities such as privacy concerns and involuntary admissions are said to hinder involvement. Respondents also emphasize that involvement should not be obligatory and stress the need for patients and families to be involved throughout the process of treatment. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for involving patients and families after sentinel events. The first step seems to be early involvement during treatment process itself.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1104
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgments: This study was funded by ZonMw, the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development. The authors would like to thank the people who were interviewed for their cooperation and the care providers for sharing their policy documents with us.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Research programs

  • EMC NIHES-05-63-02 Quality

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