Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Exploring pornography use in secure hospitals: a qualitative analysis

Mellor, Emily; Duff, Simon

Exploring pornography use in secure hospitals: a qualitative analysis Thumbnail


Emily Mellor

Associate Professor in Forensic Psychology


This research paper reports findings from a qualitative analysis which explored pornography use in secure hospitals. The purpose of this paper is to investigate what attitudes staff working in secure hospital have towards patients having access to pornography, how they make decisions regarding access to pornography and what factors they take into account during this process. This research is an extension of a prior quantitative research study (Mellor and Duff, 2019).

The study utilised a qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews to explore professionals’ attitudes towards pornography use in a secure hospital. The sample comprised of six volunteers who had taken part in a previous research study (Mellor and Duff, 2019) requesting to discuss the topic area further. As such this research study was developed. Thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2006) was used to analyse the qualitative data and the Attitudes towards Pornography Scale (Evans-DeCicco and Cowan, 2001) was used to collect demographic information.

Six themes were identified from the transcripts. The first theme explores staff members’ attitudes towards pornography. The second relates to the use of boundaries and monitoring of pornography. The third theme looks at the potential impact that pornography could have on the patient, either positive or negative. The fourth theme explores the extent to which patients are still considered as human beings, whereas the fifth theme explores the vulnerabilities that may make patients more at risk of being negatively influenced by pornography. The final theme looks at decision making regarding access to pornography.

Practical implications
The research offers an insight into how pornography within secure hospitals is managed. The research also provides an exploration into multi-disciplinary team decision making with regard to pornographic material and notes the general openness of staff towards patients having access to pornography.

The findings have important messages for services with regard to policy making. The findings are also relevant for understanding how pornography is managed with in secure hospitals.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 30, 2019
Online Publication Date Oct 31, 2019
Publication Date Nov 11, 2019
Deposit Date Oct 7, 2019
Publicly Available Date Oct 31, 2019
Journal Journal of Forensic Practice
Print ISSN 2050-8794
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 4
Pages 248-263
Keywords pornography; secure hospitals; staff; patients; attitudes; decision making
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations