Forensic Psychiatric Patients’ Perspectives on COVID-19 Prevention Measures: A Qualitative Study

Morten Deleuran Terkildsen*, Lea Kronborg Vestergaard, Jette Møllerhøj, Lisbeth Uhrskov Sørensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This article investigates how patients in forensic psychiatric wards in Denmark experienced the changes made to their everyday lives caused by COVID-19 prevention measures during the pandemic in 2020–2021. We used a qualitative ethnographic approach for collecting data and analyzed them using an inductive thematic approach. The empirical dataset consisted of 11 semi-structured interviews with forensic psychiatric patients from two medium secure wards. The patients emphasized the practical implementation of three aspects of the COVID-19 prevention measures that significantly impacted their everyday lives: communal meal time arrangements, tea and coffee serving (hygienic measures), activities with staff and other patients, use of PPE, i.e., facemasks (communal isolation measures), use of patients rooms for isolation, testing regimes, (individual isolation measures). Although the practical implementation of these prevention measures created everyday challenges for patients, they also provided opportunities for improving existing practices. This study illustrates how new ways of structuring and rethinking COVID-19 prevention measure practices can create possibilities for considering both patients’ needs and the need for such measures when implemented in forensic psychiatric wards.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychology Research and Practice
Pages (from-to)245-267
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • COVID-19
  • Patient perspectives
  • forensic psychiatry
  • prevention measures
  • qualitative

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