• Study location Sal Gamma, MDH Västerås
  • 2020-03-06 13:00–16:00

The public defense of Esa Kumpula’s doctoral thesis in Care Science

The public defense of Esa Kumpula’s doctoral thesis in Care Science will take place at Mälardalen University, room Gamma (Västerås Campus) at 13:15 on Mars 6, 2020.

Titel: Nursing staff’s patient care within forensic psychiatric care. The complex interaction between protecting society and providing care from a gender perspective.

The faculty examiner is Professor Bengt Eirik Karlsson, University i Sorost Norway, and the examining committee consists of Professor Elisabeth Dahlborg-Lyckhade, Högskolan Väst, Associate professor Mikael Rask, Linnéuniversitetet and Associate professor Lena Marmstål-Hammar, MDH.

Serial number: 309


Forensic psychiatric care (FPC) is characterized by the complex interaction between mental illness and the crime the patient has committed. For patient care, this means that male nursing staff are often assigned a superior position within FPC, while female nursing staff are presented as especially suited for providing the care itself.

The overall aim was, from a gender perspective, to map patterns of patient care within FPC.

Method: The dissertation is based on four qualitative studies. One is a literature study, while the other three adopt an ethnographic approach. The data in Study I consists of peer-reviewed articles that were theoretically analyzed. The Data in Study II consists of interviews that were analyzed by discourse psychology. The data in Study III consists of four focus groups. A thematic analysis was performed on the data. In Study IV, the data consists of observations, field notes and interviews, which were analyzed by thematic analysis.

Results: Study I show that health in FPC can be perceived as a complex interplay between protecting society, constructions of masculinity and the physical body. Study II illustrates that nursing staff’s talk about patient care should not be separated from structures framing FPC. Study III illuminates that when nursing staff ignore gender in FPC, this may render invisible patients’ unique health needs linked to their life situation. Study IV reveals a pattern in how protecting society is constructed as superior to providing care. This result can be linked to a gender order that results in unequal conditions for nursing staff’s patient care.

Conclusion: The results show how the dual goals are intertwined with nursing staff’s gender values, which affect the nurse-patient relationship and health-promoting activities. By constructing protection of society as having higher priority than care, a gender order is maintained that justifies categorization of patients. Failure to pay attention to the interaction between the dual goals and gender may lead to nursing staff overlooking patients’ individual situations and health needs.

Keyword: Ethnography, forensic psychiatric care, gender, health, health-promoting activities, patient care, nurse-patient relationship

Contact Information


Esa Kumpula