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“This is not a Life Anyone would want”—A Qualitative Study of Norwegian ACT Service users' Experience with Mental Health Treatment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Ann Mari Lofthus, Bente M. Weimand, Torleif Ruud, Diana Rose, Kristin S. Heiervang

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-526
Number of pages8
JournalIssues in Mental Health Nursing
Issue number6
Early online date25 Jan 2018
E-pub ahead of print25 Jan 2018
Published3 Jun 2018

King's Authors


We discuss Norwegian service users' experiences with community mental health treatment in general, and the interprofessional Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) model in particular. To gain the right to treatment, service users have to accept certain limitations, such as medication and community treatment orders (CTOs). Seventy participants responded to five open-ended questions. In addition, eight of them participated in either focus group or interviews. A collaborative approach, using Stepwise-Deductive Induction (SDI) method was used to analyze the participants' experiences. The results showed that the treatment contributes to an experience of autonomy but also one of restriction. It provides service users with enhanced normalcy, but simultaneously a feeling of deviance. There needs to be an ongoing reflection and discussion about those paradoxes in treatment, and service users have to be involved.

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