Psychiatric patients' perceptions of personal roles in the treatment process
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of psychiatric patients on an inpatient unit concerning their roles in the treatment process. Areas of interest included participation in healthcare decisions, degree of autonomy, and the nature of communication between the subjects and their caregivers. An interview format was used to solicit data from the participants. Subjects for the study were both men and women of various ethnic backgrounds and age groups. Responses to interview questions suggested that most psychiatric patients have little knowledge of their rights in the treatment setting. Also, most psychiatric patients perceive an unequal status with their caregivers regarding their roles in decision-making activities. Revealed in these interviews were patients' perceptions of intimidation, impending abandonment, conditional regard (based on compliance with treatment dictates), and devaluation of their self-determination activities.