Patients who self-mutilate – Their experiences of their behavior and nursing care

Background: Self-mutilation frequently begins in teenage years however is established via distressing encounters in early years as a child. The behaviour is a mindful act which is performed to ease emotional pain, leading to damaged tissues. The sufferers usually feel stigmatized and handled similar to objects when they need to feel supported and recognized in the nursing care.

Aim: To focus on affected individuals who self-mutilate, their experiences of their behavior and of the perceptions in the nursing care.

Method: A literature assessment depending on eleven scientific articles.

Result: The study of the articles led to 3 main groups; ”Experiences of self-injury and underlying reasons”, ”Patients wishes of worthy treatment” and ”Negative experiences of nursing care”. Sufferers who self-mutilate experienced that their behaviour took control over their everyday life. Feelings of optimism, help and understanding had been crucial aspects of the nursing care but the sufferers typically felt ignored and misunderstood.

Conclusion: Patients who self-mutilate frequently feel misunderstood and alone. The nurses need guidelines for how to take care of these affected individuals who require to feel involved in their nursing care and the way to get continuous support. Much more research is required from the patient viewpoint to improve nurses attitudes towards patients who self-mutilate.

Source: Kristianstad University

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