A content analysis of state hospital policies on sex between inpatients

Peter F. Buckley, Tricia Robben

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Eighty-one state psychiatric hospitals in 16 states were surveyed about whether they had policies on sex between inpatients. Thirty-one hospitals responded by sending a copy of their policies, which were analyzed for explicit definitions and distinctions between various sexual behaviors; for the presence and content of statements about patients' rights and personal autonomy, duty to protect, competency to consent, and staff guidance and education; and for instructions on the management of sexual incidents. Fourteen of the 31 policies explicitly forbade inpatient sex; 12 stressed patient autonomy. Only five specified that staff should receive special training. The results indicate that hospitals vary widely in their attention and management approach to inpatients' sexual behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-245
Number of pages3
JournalPsychiatric Services
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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