Institutional victimisation in post-apartheid South Africa

South African Journal of Psychiatry

Field Value
Title Institutional victimisation in post-apartheid South Africa
Creator Lucas, Marilyn Stevenson, Dean
Subject — —
Description Objective. Institutionalisation of psychiatric patients was a prevalent treatment approach in the apartheid era of South Africa. Allegations of patient victimisation in the form of violence and abuse arose frequently during that time. From 1994 the process of democratisation introduced a strong human rights ethos. The post-apartheid Department of Health prioritised improvements in mental health care by recommending, inter alia, deinstitutionalisation and reintegration of patients into the community. Ten years later these interventions have proved difficult to institute and many patients are still hospitalised. The present study investigated whether currently hospitalised patients continue to experience violence and abuse.Method. This was an exploratory naturalistic study in which both qualitative and quantitative data were collected by means of a questionnaire and individual interviews.Results. Of the 127 patients who completed the study, more than 50% reported experiences of abuse. The main perpetrators were other patients, although violence on the part of staff was reported. Almost 44% of patients were frightened to stay in the hospital for treatment.Conclusion. A balance is needed between provision of care and protection from danger, and respect for the individual liberty of those suffering from serious mental illness in our society.
Publisher AOSIS
Date 2005-12-01
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — —
Format application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v11i3.110
Source South African Journal of Psychiatry; Vol 11, No 3 (2005); 5 2078-6786 1608-9685
Language eng
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Rights Copyright (c) 2005 Marilyn Lucas, Dean Stevenson