The public defense of Linda Sellin's doctoral thesis in Care Sciences

Doctoral thesis and Licentiate seminars

Datum: 2017-12-15
Tid: 13.15 - 16.15
Plats: Mälardalen university, room Beta at Mälardalens högskola in Västerås.

The public defense of Linda Sellin's doctoral thesis in Care Sciences will take place at Mälardalen university, room Beta at Mälardalens högskola in Västerås.

Title: "A personal-recovery-oriented caring approach to suicidality".

Serial number: 245.

The faculty examiner is Associate professor Gunilla Carlsson, Högskolan i Borås, and the examining committee consists of Professor Jonas Stier, MDH, professor Jennifer Bullington, Ersta Sköndal högskola, and Associate professor Kent-Inge Perseius, Röda korsets högskola.
Reserve: Professor Ellinor Salander Renberg, Umeå universitet.


Persons who are subject to care due to suicidal thoughts and/or acts, are in a vulnerable situation, struggling with issues related to life and death as well as experiences of hopelessness and powerlessness. They may also experience themselves as a burden for their relatives. The relatives’ struggle for contributing to the loved person’s survival, can involve experiences of taking responsibility for things that are outside their control. Yet, research considering how suicidal persons and their relatives can be supported, when the person receives care in a psychiatric inpatient setting is sparse. This thesis is based on a perspective of recovery as a process where the persons experience themselves as capable of managing both challenges and possibilities in life and incorporate meaning into it.

The overall aim of this research  was to develop, introduce and evaluate a caring intervention, to support suicidal patients’ recovery and health, and to support patients’ and their relatives’ participation in the caring process. A total of 15 patients, 9 relatives, 5 representatives from a Swedish organization in suicide prevention, 9 registered nurses, and 5 researchers participated. Data were mainly collected from interviews, focus group interviews, questionnaire, and self-assessment, and analyzed with special focus on the patients’ and relatives’ perspectives.

The developed caring intervention is characterized by “communicative togetherness”. This communicative togetherness means that the nurse and the patient together explore how the patient’s recovery can be supported, as a way for the patient to regain an experience of being able to manage problems in living as well as ascribe meaning to life. It was also concluded that it is more appropriate to acknowledge this as a caring approach, rather than describe it as a specific caring intervention. The final description of the findings comprise a preliminary guide to a personal-recovery-oriented caring approach to suicidality (PROCATS). This description provides a view of six core aspects of the caring approach. The overall aim of the PROCATS is to support suicidal patients’ recovery and health processes, even at the very edge of life. Although the findings indicate that the PROCATS has potential to support suicidal patients’ recovery as well as supporting their relatives’ participation, there is a need for further evaluation of the PROCATS in a wider context.