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Table 1 Summary of responses to online questionnaire

From: Policies on sexual expression in forensic psychiatric settings in different European countries

Country Application of policy rules Direction Other forms of expression allowed Patient/visitor interaction Resources available to patients Staff training Patient awareness and involvement
Belgium Hetero- & homosexual relationships treated the same
Same policies regardless of case history
Sexual intercourse prohibited inside institution
Romantic/non-sexual relationships between patients prohibited
Patients can marry
Holding hands
Access to sexually explicit DVDs, magazines & novels
Patients not allowed into each other’s bedrooms
Visitors allowed unsupervised access to patients’ bedrooms
‘Blind eye’ turned to potential sexual activity with spouse
No conjugal visiting suite
Sexual education
Condoms/contraception
Provided No written policy; patients informed verbally
Patients have opportunity to complain about policy
Patient perspective not considered
Denmark Hetero- & homosexual relationships treated the same
Decided on case-by-case basis
Sexual relationships with existing long-term partner permitteda
Sexual and non-sexual relationships between patients prohibited
Patients can marry
Access to sexually explicit DVDs, magazines & novels Patients not allowed in each other’s bedrooms
Visitors not allowed in patients’ bedrooms
Conjugal visiting suite available
Condoms/contraception No specific training No written policy; patients informed verbally
Patients have opportunity to complain about policy
Patient perspective not considered
Finland Hetero- & homosexual relationships treated the same
Same policies regardless of case history
Sexual relationships permitteda between patients or between patient and outside partner, including prostitutes
Non-sexual relationships supported and seen as positive and prosocial
Patients can marry
Kissing
Hugging
Caressing
Massage
Holding hands
Access to sexually explicit DVD’s, adult magazines, erotic novels & pornographic websites
Patients not allowed into each other’s bedrooms
Visitors not allowed into patient bedrooms
No conjugal suite
Visits take place in visiting area and can be unsupervised
Relationship counselling
Sexual education
Condoms/contraception
No specific training No written policy; patients informed verbally
Patients have opportunity to complain about policy
Patient perspective not considered
FYR Macedonia Homosexual relationships not taken into consideration
Decided on case-by-case basis
Sexual relationships permitteda between patient and existing long-term partner
Sexual relationships between patients prohibited
Non-sexual relationships allowed
Patients cannot marry
Kissing
Hugging
Caressing
Massage
Holding hands
Access to adult magazines
Patients allowed supervised access to each other’s bedrooms
Visitors allowed unsupervised access to patient bedroomsa
Relationship counsellinga
Condoms/contraception
No specific training Not available for patients to see
Patient perspective not considered
Germany Hetero- & homosexual relationships treated the same
Decided on case-by-case basis
Sexual relationships permitteda between patient and existing long-term partner, and new partner outside the institution, including prostitutes
Sexual relationships between patients prohibited
Non-sexual relationships alloweda
Patients can marry
Kissing
Hugging
Caressing
Massage
Holding hands
Access to adult magazines & erotic novels
Patients allowed unsupervised access to each other’s roomsa
Visitors allowed unsupervised access to patient bedroomsa
Conjugal visiting suite available
Relationship counselling
Sexual education
Condoms/contraception
Provided Policy readily available for patients to see
Patient perspective not considered
Latvia Hetero- & homosexual relationships treated the same
Same policies regardless of case history
Sexual intercourse prohibited within unit
Sexual relationships permitted with partners from outside the institution
Non-sexual relationships alloweda
Patients can marry
No form of sexual expression allowed Patients not allowed into each other’s bedrooms
Visitors not allowed into patient bedrooms
Conjugal visiting suite available in some facilities
None Not known Policy available for patients to see
Patient perspective not considered
Netherlands Hetero- & homosexual relationships treated the same
Decided on case-by-case basis
Sexual relationships permitteda between patient and existing long-term partner, and new partner outside the institution, including prostitutes
Non-sexual relationships alloweda
Patients can marrya
Kissing
Hugging
Caressing
Massage
Holding hands
Access to sexually explicit DVD’s, adult magazines, erotic novels alloweda
Patients allowed unsupervised access to each other’s bedrooms
Visitors allowed unsupervised access to patient bedroomsa
Conjugal visiting suite available
Relationship counselling
Sexual education
Condoms/contraception
General training provided Policy available for patients to see
Patient perspective not considered
Spain Not known Sexual relationships permitteda between patient and existing long-term partner
Non-sexual relationships alloweda
Patients can marry
Kissing
Hugging
Caressing
Massage
Holding hands
Access to erotic novels
Patients not allowed into each other’s bedrooms
Visitors not allowed into patient bedrooms
Conjugal visiting suite available
Sexual education No specific training Not readily available for patients to see
Patient perspective not considered
Switzerland Hetero- & homosexual relationships treated the same
Same policies regardless of case history
Sexual relationships discouraged amongst patients
Sexual relationships permitted between patient and existing long-term partner, and new partner
Non-sexual relationships alloweda
Patients can marry
Kissing
Hugging
Caressing
Massage
Holding hands
No access to sexually explicit DVD’s, adult magazines, erotic novels or pornographic websites
Patients not allowed into each other’s bedrooms
Visitors not allowed into patient bedrooms
Sexual activity with partners allowed when patient is on leave
Relationship counselling
Sexual education
Condoms/contraception
Provided Not readily available for patients to see
Patient perspective considered in drafting of shared practice
United Kingdom Hetero- & homosexual relationships treated the same
Officially, decided on case-by-case basis but in practice policy implemented uniformly
Sexual relationships between patients and between patient and partner outside the institution prohibited
Patients can marry
Minor forms of physical contact but no intimate or extended contact
Access to erotic novels alloweda
Patients not allowed into each other’s bedrooms
Visitors not allowed into patient bedrooms
Conjugal visiting suite not available
Relationship counselling
Sexual educationa
No specific training Abbreviated version available for patients to see
Patient perspective not considered
  1. adepending on circumstance