School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Sciences
Medical and Health Sciences
Associate Professor Anthony Welch, Professor Moira Williamson
Doctor of Philosophy

Research Details

Thesis Name

Towards an Understanding of the Lived Experience of People who Leave a Mental Health Treatment Facility without permission.

Thesis Abstract

Mental health consumers who abscond from mental health treatment facilities cause considerable distress to themselves, relatives, staff and the general public, and the absconding event can result in a serious incident. Absconding, along with self-harm is now considered a risk to the health service, staff and consumers. In Australia, there has been a minimal attempt to understand the underlying cause of absconding. This research attempts to give a voice to the lived experience of individuals who are incarcerated under the NSW Mental Health Act 2007, about treatment. In giving a voice, the researcher interviewed 12 people who had absconded while incarcerated under the NSW Mental Health Act 2007.

Why my research is important/Impacts

Research that reviews the lived experience and the clinical recovery to complement and support one another is at the heart of recovery. It allows for shared decision making, giving options to people who are not willing to stay in inpatient treatment. Bringing together the lived experience with the expert knowledge of the mental health professional offers opportunities to challenge traditional knowledge, knowing and professional power. This research would add to the body of knowledge that would allow services to be delivered in a way that engages both the client and their families and add to the nursing construct within a mental health treatment facility.