Welcome to RFM.nu

Forensic Mental Health Research Unit Middelfart (RFM),Department of Regional Health Research, Faculty of Health Science, University of Southern Denmark & Psychiatric dept. Middelfart, Mental Health Services in the Region of Southern Denmark. 

“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members’ – Mahatma Gandhi

The core tasks of RFM is to develop and maintain a clinical research culture and to research and evidence-based clinical forensic psychiatric practice for the benefit of patients, relatives and staff. As well as conduct research, staff training and project supervision, including the supervision of PhD students.

We want significantly better treatment and care for the benefit of our forensic psychiatric patients, their relatives, and staff. That is why we want a research unit that conducts thorough, systematic, massive, solid, and innovative research.

• Through patient-centered and practice-relevant research to generate knowledge, develop, test and implement research in strategically selected areas in order to evidence- or research-based clinical forensic psychiatric nursing and treatment of forensic psychiatric patients in clinical practice.
• To improve the quality of health interventions for and in close collaboration with forensic psychiatric patients, relatives, professionals and other relevant national and international institutions.

Research areas

The research areas for 2023 – 2028 are:
•Reduction of coercive and restrictive practices (The RECORE program)
• Psychiatry- and health law
• Relatives and Patient Involvement
• Prevention of criminalization & substance abuse
• Inequality in health
• Sex-offender and trauma research

Research Output

Our collaborations

Current PhD projects

How can patients be involved in psychiatric care?
– Generation of new knowledge about patient involvement in treatment psychiatry through action research
ph.d. stud. Kristian J. Paaske, 2019-

Graduating Psychiatric Coercive Measures
ph.d.stud Camilla R. Lindekilde, 2021-

Improving care for ethnic minorities
– A study on the use of rapid tranquillisation in forensic mental health inpatient settings
Ph.d.stud. Martin L. Pedersen 2023-

Development and testing of the intervention “Guided Clinical Decision-making for Mechanical Restraints Use”
. PhD.student Jonas H. Kerring 2024 –

Completed PhD projects

  • Tina Kirstine Vestphal, 2020-2024. Relatives of mentally ill patients in forensic and general psychiatry – Those who fight alongside
  • Anne Louise Winkler Pedersen 2017-2022 (sep). How to prevent the metabolic syndrome in Danish forensic psychiatric patients. – Investigating where the metabolic syndrome prevention should be implemented, which physical activity and dietary behaviors it should target, and which barriers, facilitators, and motivators to consider in the implementation
  • Ricko Damberg Nissen, 2016-2019 (Sep). Religion, and Spirituality: A study on how psychiatrists approach religious / spiritual topics in Danish psychiatric clinical practice.
  • Lone Fisker, 2015- 2019 (Oct). A study of challenges in the use of telemedicine in the elderly with depression – Collaborative care with the use of video conferencing in interprofessional communication and treatment.
  • Gitte Munksgaard, 2017-2019 (July). Violence and threats against forensic mental health staff – Forensic healthcare workers perception of violence and threats against staff and subsequent impact on mental health care and environment
  • Ellen Boldrup Tingleff, 2015-2019 (Feb). Reduction of mechanical restraint in forensic psychiatry – Patient and relatives perceptions and perspectives on mechanical restraint in forensic psychiatry
  • Lea Deichmann Nielsen, 2014-2018 (Dec). Development of the MR-CRAS (Mechanical Restraint – Confounders, Risk, Alliance Score) and validation of its measurement properties among forensic psychiatric staff and experts

Current senior research projects

• The Humor Project – The Forensic mental health inpatient perspective

• The RECORE Program: – Reducing Coercive and Restrictive-practices

o Adjustment and validation of the Mechanical Restrain – Confounders, Risk, Alliance Score (MR-CRAS)”
A Surface-Content Validation of MR-CRAS in General Psychiatry. Time: 2021-2024

o The WAPS project – Workplace reported violence Associated with Psychiatric Staff – Characteristics of
self-reported workplace related violence and threats associated with mental health staff. Time: 2020-

o The Conflict Tolerance Scale (CTS). Time: 2021-

o Reduction of mechanical restraint episodes in forensic psychiatry. An intervention development study
where the staff and patient perspectives from the qualitative research are compared and intervention
theory is developed in relation to existing literature. Time: 2020-2023


Frederik Alkier Gildberg. fgildberg(at)health.sdu.dk
Professor in Forensic Mental Health & Head of Research Forensic Mental Health Research Unit Middelfart (RFM),Department of Regional Health Research, Faculty of Health Science, University of Southern Denmark & Psychiatric dept. Middelfart, Mental Health Services in the Region of Southern Denmark. 

Abolition of coercion in mental health services – a European survey of feasibility

Søren Birkeland, Tilman Steinert, Richard Whittington, Frederik Gildberg (2024) Abolition of coercion in mental health services – a European survey of feasibility. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, Volume 94, doi.org/10.1016/j.ijlp.2024.101992. ABSTRACTBackground: In 2019, the Council of Europe agreed to urge member states to take steps toward total abolition of psychiatric coercive measures.Aims: To test …

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Mental health patients’ preferences regarding restrictive interventions: An integrative review

Lindekilde, C. R., Pedersen, M. L., Birkeland, S., Hvidhjelm, J., Baker, J. & Gildberg, F., (2024) Mental Health Patients’ Preferences Regarding Restrictive Interventions: an Integrative Review. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing (E-pub ahead of print). AbstractIntroduction: The use of restrictive interventions is a violation of patients’ rights thatcauses physical and psychological harm and which is a well-known challenge globally.Mental health …

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Staff responses to interventions aiming to reduce mechanical restraint inadult mental health inpatient settings: a questionnaire-based survey

Pedersen, M. L., Gildberg, F., Bogh, S. B., Birkeland, S. & Tingleff, E., 2024, Staff responses to interventions aiming to reduce mechanical restraint in adult mental health inpatient settings: a questionnaire-based survey. (E-pub ahead of print) I: Nordic Journal of Psychiatry. ABSTRACTPurpose: To explore mental health staff’s responses towards interventions designed to reduce the useof mechanical restraint (MR) in adult mental health inpatient …

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New article published: Tilting at Windmills

Tina Kirstine Vestphal , Ellen Boldrup Tingleff , Rikke Jørgensen , Sara Rowaert & Frederik Alkier Gildberg (2024) Tilting at Windmills – A Qualitative Study about Family Caregiver Interactions and Perceptions in Forensic Mental Health Care, Issues in Mental Health Nursing, DOI: 10.1080/01612840.2024.2308544 ABSTRACTIn forensic mental health care (FMHC), family caregivers perceive themselves as burdened in their relationships with the service user (the family member with mental illness) and by difficult collaboration with …

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