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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 59 (2017) 1, 20 - 29

New research

Does less seclusion create a safer environment? An attempt to map the concept of ‘feeling safe’

C.J. Severs, A.J.K. Hondius, A.H. Schene

background The degree of restraint imposed by a psychiatrist seems to be influenced by the safety of the team. So far, there have been few attempts to map the concept of ‘feeling safe’.
aim To analyse, define and quantify the concept of ‘feeling safe’.
method Concept mapping involves combining, in a structured way, qualitative (item collection) and quantitative methods (multi-dimensional scaling and hierarchical clusteranalysis) with the knowledge of professionals from psychiatric practice (N=24), first on an individual basis and then as a group (N=8).
results The participants generated and prioritised a total of 97 different items. These were then divided into six clusters: organisational structure, professionalism of team members, increased expertise, marginal conditions, internal and external features of the hospital building, views on mental health care and policy. Group members gave almost equal priority to the clusters, but they assigned different degrees of importance to separate items (ranging from 4.63 to 2.38 on a five-point scale).
conclusion Concept mapping is an adequate method of defining the concept of ‘feeling safe’. Professionalism of the team and qualities such as openness and ability to communicate, expertise and trusting one’s colleagues and having an adequate alarm system available are all important factors that help to make employees ‘feel safe’ in their respective departments.

keywords concept mapping, determinants, safety, seclusion