Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Dennis Miehls

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This is an exploratory-descriptive study which assesses the social support experienced by acute-care, uncertified psychiatric in-patients. A focus group of in-patients was formed in a provincial psychiatric hospital. The group was co-facilitated by the researcher and a research assistant. The purpose of the focus group was to generate questions which were then used to create a questionnaire about social support. The focus group-generated questionnaire, along with the Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire, was given to 13 other acute-care in-patients at the same hospital. The data were coded and analyzed. By exploring the in-patients' experience of social support, this research project gives preliminary evidence that the respondents perceived that social support is lacking in the hospital. Based on the reported experience of the respondents, recommendations may point to a need for caregivers to have a particular sensitivity to the benefits of ensuring some autonomy for the in-patient. As well, the respondents highlighted issues of shame which they experience in the hospital setting.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season