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Humiliation in the mental health care setting (completed)

The purpose of this study is to investigate the dynamics of this phenomenon within the mental health care setting. The experience of humiliation is relational. Typically, humiliation occurs within relationships of unequal power where the humiliator has power over the victim.

About the project

The study have an explorative approach. Both qualitative and quantitative methods will be applied, and there will be collect data from mental health care staff as well as from patients. The term humiliation implies different kind of experiences with humiliations, offence and violations. Incidents that are perceived as humiliating from the patients’ point of view show great variation and numerous nuances are found. The study will explore what users and employees have heard about, witnessed, experienced or carried out in the way of humiliating treatment of patients within mental health care.


  • Provide a better understanding of the concept of humiliation
  • Contribute to reduce the occurrence of humiliations
  • Enhance patient satisfaction and improve quality of services
  • Provide improved competence and awareness about ethical issues among health personnel
  • To improve the interaction between staff and patients in mental health care institutions
  • Achieving greater focus on the users experience of care in mental health services
  • Provide a better basis for appropriate cooperation with patients


Parallel to increased attention on issues relating to patient rights and user participation in the mental health care services, patients’ perception of violations, coercion and negative incidents within mental health care becomes clearer. Experiences of humiliation have been implicated in pathogenesis of numerous psychosocial difficulties including low self-esteem. While social scientists have suggested that humiliation is a pervasive experience in our society, it has remained unexamined by empirical research. The purpose of this study is to investigate the dynamics of this phenomenon within the mental health care setting.


  • Ekstrastiftelsen


  • Rådet for psykisk helse
  • Mental Helse
  • WSO
  • Erfaringskompetanse
  • Profesjonsforeningene for leger, psykologer, sykepleiere, tre årig helse- og sosialarbeidere og helsefagarbeidere

Start and finish

2014 – 2018

Published July 10, 2015 10:32 AM - Last modified Jan. 14, 2021 10:54 AM