The Open Door: The Reentry Experiences of Eight Patients in an Acute Care Psychiatric Unit

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Universal Publishers, 2008 - Psychology - 252 pages
The purpose of this qualitative interview study was to document the experiences of persons diagnosed with major depression who were readmitted to an acute care voluntary psychiatric unit after having been previously discharged and who took part there in a therapeutic recreation program. The researcher conducted the study as a participant observer who worked as a recreation therapist in this unit. Sub-questions focused on the participants experiences both at home and in the hospital and their experiences in the therapeutic recreation program. The term therapeutic recreation is here limited to the process whereby a therapist intentionally and actively strives to help clients remove psychological barriers that prevent them from experiencing satisfactory leisure and recreation. Data were presented in the form of narrative accounts of the participants experiences. Findings from analysis of interview narratives were presented as cross-case themes expressed in first person. Themes relating to participants lives at home included: When I am at home I am often afraid and insecure; I have a few friends and family members I trust to help me, but also Family members are at times a support, at times a problem. Other themes expressed the importance of religious beliefs in the lives of most participants and their concern that; Getting and keeping a job is a big worry. Regarding readmission, participants reported that it was hard to return to the hospital but the alternatives seemed even worse. They expressed relief at being there, describing their stay as a physical and emotional tune-up. All stated that they had been helped in hospital by various therapies and therapists. They detailed specificactivities in which they participated both at home and in hospital. All emphasized the importance of choice for enjoyment of recreation. Activities pursued while in the hospital were more numerous and varied than those at home. One metatheme stated that the suffering of depression was so all-consuming that often participants did not focus their thoughts on anything else. A second metatheme stated that participants seemed to be living between two worlds, hospital and home, and the transitions between them were often difficult.

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