More than 1,000 Swedish hospital beds are occupied by patients in forensic psychiatric settings; their average length of hospitalization is 3–7 years. In this context, nursing diagnoses could be extremely useful to make nursing care structured, measurable, and internationally comparable. The study aimed to describe nursing diagnoses in a Swedish forensic psychiatric setting.
Data were collected from electronic patient records of 55 patients in a medium-secure forensic psychiatric setting in Sweden. Anonymized data were entered into a database where entries were transformed into figures. Descriptive statistics were used, and frequencies, means, and percentages were calculated. The variables employed were characteristics and related factors, according to NANDA-International (NANDA-I) and International Statistical Classification of Dieseases and Related Heatlh Problems, 10th Revision (ICD-10), diagnoses.
The patients had between 1 and 13 NANDA-I diagnoses each. Forty-one of the 55 patients had psychosis as the primary ICD-10 code. The identified nursing diagnoses described the patients' status upon arrival in the forensic psychiatric setting. Of the 55 patients, entries in the patient records describing 300 signs and symptoms (i.e., characteristics and related factors) were found. From these signs and symptoms, 371 entries that fit NANDA-I diagnoses were identified, representing 20 different NANDA-I diagnoses.
NANDA-I diagnoses individualize patient care, making care person centered. NANDA-I is used all over the world and has the potential to make nursing care structured, measurable, and internationally comparable.