INTRODUCTION: There is a lack of research into psychiatric patients' perceptions of coercion that discriminates between different types of coercive measures, while also investigating patients' perceptions of undergoing coercion as a process. This knowledge is required to improve our understanding and provide a foundation for improving clinical practice.
AIMS: To review existing research literature in order to investigate adult psychiatric patients' reported perceptions of situations before, during and after specific and defined types of coercive measures; and to investigate what patients perceive as moderating factors, in regard to the use of these coercive measures.
METHOD: A systematic review and thematic analysis of 26 peer-reviewed studies was undertaken.
RESULTS: The analysis identified six themes and additional subthemes, where 'interactions with professionals' and 'communication' were predominant themes across the timeline of coercion. Altogether, themes were associated with either 'positive or negative patient-perceived impact'.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Increased sensitivity to patients' views of the situation at each point in the process is desirable in order to respond to the patients' individual needs. Professionals also need to articulate concern and empathy towards the patient and to improve communication skills before, during, and after a coercive incident. Use of de-escalation and non-coercive strategies is required. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.