The SAFARI study

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    An Exploration of the meaning of SAFety for An oldeR adult in a psychiatric Inpatient setting: SAFARI study



  • Contact name

    Danielle Wilson

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Canterbury Christ Church University

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    0 years, 8 months, 1 days

  • Research summary

    Older people's psychiatric hospitals provide specialist care for a range of reasons, including challenging behaviour/placement breakdown in dementia, mental health difficulties, deliberate self-harm or suicidal thinking/behaviour. We would like to understand what a psychiatric admission is like for older people, with a key focus on how they experience safety. Safety is a fundamental part of delivering quality healthcare. However, research looking at people’s experiences of psychiatric hospitals found that, while some patients feel safe and cared for, others felt that their admission was neither safe nor therapeutic (Baker, 2000; Glasby & Lester, 2005; Bramesfeld et al., 2007).

    We want to focus on older people because, firstly, older people’s mental health is a neglected area of research. For example, Thibaut et al.’s (2019) systematic review of patient safety in inpatient mental health settings identified 364 studies, but only 7 related to older people with mental health difficulties. Secondly, older people are more likely to experience physical health conditions alongside mental health difficulties, and we would like to understand more about the impact of this on their sense of safety. Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted that older people were more vulnerable to disease, regardless of their overall health. In addition, reports of hospitals refusing to admit care home residents at the height of the pandemic may have left many older people feeling more vulnerable navigating the health system.

    The study will involve a one-off interview, lasting about one hour. We will be recruiting from NHS psychiatric wards and older people’s community mental health teams. Anyone over the age of 65, that has been discharged from a psychiatric ward within the past 3 months, will be eligible for the study. People with a cognitive impairment that could impact on their ability to remember their most recent admission will be excluded.

  • REC name

    West Midlands - Coventry & Warwickshire Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    8 Aug 2023

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion