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Discourses of compassion from the margins of health care: the perspectives and experiences of people with a mental health condition.

Authors
  • Bond, Carmel1
  • Hui, Ada2
  • Timmons, Stephen1
  • Wildbore, Ellie3
  • Sinclair, Shane4
  • 1 Centre for Health Innovation, Leadership and Learning, Nottingham University Business School, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.
  • 2 School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.
  • 3 Lived Experience Researcher, Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust.
  • 4 Compassion Research Lab, Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. , (Canada)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of mental health (Abingdon, England)
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2024
Volume
33
Issue
1
Pages
31–39
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/09638237.2022.2118692
PMID: 36131605
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Evidence supports the positive influence of compassion on care experiences and health outcomes. However, there is limited understanding regarding how compassion is identified by people with lived experience of mental health care. To explore the views and experiences of compassion from people who have lived experience of mental health. Participants with a self-reported mental health condition and lived experience of mental health (n = 10) were interviewed in a community setting. Characteristics of compassion were identified using an interpretative description approach. Study participants identified compassion as comprised three key components; 'the compassionate virtues of the healthcare professional', which informs 'compassionate engagement', creating a 'compassionate relational space and the patient's felt-sense response'. When all these elements were in place, enhanced recovery and healing was felt to be possible. Without the experience of compassion, mental health could be adversely affected, exacerbating mental health conditions, and leading to detachment from engaging with health services. The experience of compassion mobilises hope and promotes recovery. Health care policymakers and organisations must ensure services are structured to provide space and time for compassion to flourish. It is imperative that all staff are provided with training so that compassion can be acquired and developed.

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