Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Nursing

Dissertation Committee

Jane M. Georges, PhD, RN, Chairperson; Semira Semino-Asaro, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, PMHNP-BC; Michael Terry, DNP, FNP, PMHNP


Inpatient, psychiatric, Lived, experiences, qualitative, hermeneutic


Background: There is an increased need to actively engage and involve patients in their care planning in healthcare facilities including psychiatric facilities (Wills, Riefer, Schauer, & del Vecchio, 2011). There has been a growing interest in patient-centered care and patients’ involvement in their plan of care as it leads to positive healthcare outcomes and increased patient satisfaction. However, there is a lack of research on how psychiatric patients perceive their involvement in the care planning while they are admitted to an inpatient psychiatric facility.

Aim: The aim of this qualitative phenomenological research study was to explore patients’ perception of being involved in their plan of care during an inpatient psychiatric hospital stay.

Method: The hermeneutic phenomenological research approach was used to understand and interpret the meaning of psychiatric patients’ lived experiences of being admitted to an inpatient psychiatric facility. A sample of 12 participants who had been admitted to an inpatient psychiatric facility with in last 12 months was obtained. The participants’ ages ranged from 29-76 years. Data were collected using digitally recorded one-on-one semi-structured interviews. Colaizzi’s (1978) 7-step data analysis method was used to analyze the meaning of participants’ lived experiences.

Findings: Seven major themes were identified: participants’ knowledge about the plan of care, involvement, safety, compartmentalization of care, psychiatric inpatient admission as a turning point, inpatient as a holding place, and importance of social support.

Conclusion: This study shows that psychiatric patients desire to be informed and involved in their plan of care. They want to receive care that is individualized and centered to their specific needs. They desire a safe and therapeutic environment to focus on their mental health. This study also suggests positive inpatient experience when patients’ family/friends are actively involved in their care.

Implication: The findings of this study may lead to a cascade of changes at different levels in healthcare to improve the quality of care provided to patients in inpatient psychiatric facilities.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access