Back to top

Biography

Switzerland is where I have been born and raised and where I still live with my husband and our lovely dog Ginger in the beautiful Töss valley in the canton of Zurich. For almost 30 years I have been working in various functions and positions in nursing and have been able to gain valuable experiences in many fields of work. The encounters with people from the most diverse backgrounds and all kinds of lifestyles have always shaped me and motivated me for my work. The last 15 years were primarily spent in the field of psychiatry/mental health nursing. In 2021 I became a lecturer at Bern University of Applied Sciences where I work in the Masters degree education and in research, specifically in the field of psychiatric and mental health nursing.

During my professional career I have had the chance to live in California for a while and I got my Masters degree in Nursing Sciences at Cardiff University in Wales. Before nursing became my professional passion I have been trained as a station manager working for the Swiss National Railways and later as a travel agent...

more

Research

My PhD - Research Project: Creating Meaning - Understanding the Experiences of People Living with Mental Illness in Switzerland - A qualitative Study

Mental illnesses have a large impact on individuals, their families and friends and communities. People living with mental illness often face discrimination and not the least within the health care system. However, there is an ongoing shift from a paternalistic to a person-centred approach in the treatment of people living with mental illness. User involvement in the development of care has become common practice and personal recovery rather than cure is at the core of treatment. However, to further improve professional practice, there is a need to understand more about the experiences of people living with mental illness.

The aim of this research is to explore and evaluate the personal experiences of people living with mental illness in Switzerland and to identify aspects that are most relevant to this population in living with and adapting to mental illness. Therefore, the study aims to create an understanding of the adaptation process to mental illness from a patient perspective.

A constructivist and reflexive grounded theory approach was chosen for the main study. Ten participants, people living with mental illness in Switzerland, were interviewed. However, the project also includes a preliminary study, comprising a focus group with mental health professionals, that used qualitative thematic analysis.

The research project has been completed, submitted and successfully defended viva voce in November 2019.

Favourites

Journal Articles

  • Wolfensberger, P., Hahn, S., van Teijlingen, E. and Thomas, S., 2019. Uncertainty in illness among people living with mental ill health - a mental health nursing perspective. British Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 8 (4), 181-187.
  • Zuaboni, G., Hahn, S., Wolfensberger, P., Schwarze, T. and Richter, D., 2017. Impact of a Mental Health Nursing Training-Programme on the Perceived Recovery-Orientation of Patients and Nurses on Acute Psychiatric Wards: Results of a Pilot Study. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 38 (11), 907-914.
  • Dolci, B. and Wolfensberger, P., 2016. Perspektiven in der interprofessionellen Matrix. Psychiatrische Pflege, 1 (3), 40-42.
  • Hahn, S., 2016. Sabine Hahn im Kamingespräch mit Peter Wolfensberger. Psychiatrische Pflege, 1 (2), 37-39.
  • Wolfensberger, P., 2013. Understanding behaviour in dementia that challenges – a guide to assessment and treatment. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 20 (3), e3.
  • Schäfli, N. and Wolfensberger, P., 2013. Fachwissen? Mangelware! Psych.Pflege Heute, 19 (01), 18-20.

Conferences

  • Wolfensberger, P., Hahn, S., van Teijlingen, E. and Thomas, S., 2020. Creating Meaning - People Living with Mental Illness in Switzerland. In: Lomba, L., Parola, V., Costa, P., Feilzardo, H., Santos, M., Silva, M., Neves, M., Morgado, T., Casaleiro, T. and Bernardes, R., eds. STTI 5th Biennial European Conference 28-29 May 2020 Virtual / Coimbra - Portugal. Book of Abstracts, 41 Coimbra, Portugal: Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Coimbra.
  • Wolfensberger, P., Thomas, S., Hahn, S. and van Teijlingen, E., 2018. Experiences of people living with mental illness in Switzerland - a qualitative inquiry. In: Horatio European Congress "Safe Settings" 10-12 May 2018 Faroe Islands. Programme and abstract book, 63 Torshavn, Faroe Islands: FPS, Faroese Psychiatric Nurses.
  • Wolfensberger, P., 2017. Erfahrungen im Erleben und im Umgang mit der eigenen psychiatrischen Erkrankung: Die Stimme der Betroffenen! / Experiences of people living with mental illness on their adaptation process to illness: The voice of those living with a mental illness. In: Hahn, S., Gurtner, C., Burr, C., Hegedüs, A., Finklenburg, U., Needham, I., Schoppmann, S., Schulz, M. and Stefan, H., eds. 14. Dreiländerkongress Pflege in der Psychiatrie 5-6 October 2017 Bern, Switzerland. , 236-238 Bern, Wien: Verlag Berner Fachhochschule, Fachbereich Gesundheit, Forschung & Entwicklung / Dienstleistung Pflege.
  • Hegedüs, A., Richter, D., Wolfensberger, P. and Aquilante, S., 2016. Interventionsstudien als Link zwischen Forschung und Praxis - wie geht das? / Intervention studies linking research and practice - how does it work? In: Schulz, M., Schoppmann, S., Gurtner, C., Stefan, H., Finklenburg, U., Needham, I. and Hahn, S., eds. 13. Dreiländerkongress Pflege in der Psychiatrie 22-23 September 2016 Bielefeld, Germany. Vorträge, Workshops und Posterpräsentationen Dreiländerkongress Pflege in der Psychiatrie, 122-124 Bern, Switzerland: Verlag Berner Fachhochschule, Fachbereich Gesundheit, Forschung & Entwicklung / Dienstleistung Pflege.
  • Wolfensberger, P., 2016. Uncertainty in illness and personal recovery - experiences of people living with mental illness. In: STTI European Conference 6-8 June 2016 Utrecht, Netherlands.
  • Stadtmann, M., Mikic, I., Leuter, U. and Wolfensberger, P., 2015. Pflegerische Fallführung in der ambulanten psychiatrischen Versorgung – ein Zukunftsmodell? Erfahrungen und Erkenntnisse aus Praxis und Forschung im Diskurs / Nurse lead case management in ambulant mental health care - a model of the future? Experiences and findings of research and practice on discourse. In: Schoppmann, S., Stefan, H., Hegedüs, A., Finklenburg, U., Needham, I., Schulz, M., Gurtner, C. and Hahn, S., eds. 12. Dreiländerkongress Pflege in der Psychiatrie 24-25 September 2015 Wien, Austria. , 220-224 Bern, Switzerland: Verlag Berner Fachhochschule, Fachbereich Gesundheit.
  • Minder, J. and Wolfensberger, P., 2015. Betagte Psychosepatienten in Alters- und Pflegeheimen / Elderly Psychosis Patients in Elderly- and Nursing Homes. In: Integrierte Psychiatrie im Diskurs 19 March 2015 Winterthur, Switzerland. Integrierte Psychiatrie im Diskurs, 14 Integrierte Psychiatrie Winterthur - Zürcher Unterland.
  • Wolfensberger, P., Hahn, S., Richter, D., Schwarze, T. and Zuaboni, G., 2014. Zielorientierte psychiatrische Pflege (ORIENT) - Ergebnisse einer Pilotinterventionsstudie - Qualitative Ergebnisse. In: DGPPN Kongress 2014 26-29 November 2014 Berlin, Germany. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Psychosomatik und Nervenheilkunde.
  • Wolfensberger, P., 2014. Uncertainty in illness and personal recovery. In: Horatio - European Festival of Psychiatric Nursing 6-9 November 2014 St. Julians, Malta.
  • Wolfensberger, P., Schwarze, T., Zuaboni, G., Hahn, S. and Richter, D., 2014. Zielorientierte psychiatrische Pflege (ORIENT) – Qualitative Ergebnisse. In: Hegedüs, A., Finklenburg, U., Needham, I., Stefan, H., Schulz, M. and Schoppmann, S., eds. 11. Dreiländerkongress Pflege in der Psychiatrie 9-10 October 2014 Bern. , 275 Bern, Switzerland: Verlag Berner Fachhochschule.
  • Wolfensberger, P., 2013. Negotiating uncertainty: an aspect of personal recovery in people living with mental illness - a workshop. In: Horatio - European Psychiatric Nursing Conference 31 October-2 November 2013 Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Wolfensberger, P., Hahn, S., Richter, D., Schwarze, T. and Zuaboni, G., 2013. Recovery oriented mental health nursing: a pilot Intervention study. In: Recovery-Focused Conference: Engagment in Life: Promoting Wellbeing and Mental Health 6 September 2013 Bournemouth, UK.
  • Schäfli, N., Ilic, S., Lehmann, J. and Wolfensberger, P., 2012. MENS SANA IN CORPORE SANO – wie können somatische Themen in der psychiatrischen Pflege integriert werden? In: Hahn, S., Stefan, H., Abderhalden, C., Needham, I., Schulz, M., Hegedüs, A., Finklenburg, U. and Schoppmann, S., eds. 9. Dreiländerkongress Pflege in der Psychiatrie 4-5 October 2012 Vienna, Austria. , 386 Bern, Switzerland: Verlag Forschung & Entwicklung Pflege, UPD.
  • Wolfensberger, P., 2012. Homophobie in der Pflege – latent, existent, verkannt. In: Hahn, S., Stefan, H., Abderhalden, C., Needham, I., Hegedüs, A., Finklenburg, U. and Schoppmann, S., eds. 9. Dreiländerkongress Pflege in der Psychiatrie 4-5 October 2012 Vienna, Austria. , 325 Bern, Switzerland: Verlag Forschung & Entwicklung Pflege, UPD.
  • Wolfensberger, P., Aust, W., Bialas, M., Bourke-Gerber, B., Bregenzer, U., Gabriel-Andersen, L., Lanthemann, H. and Prassek, J., 2011. Pflegeentwicklung praxisnah. In: Hahn, S., Abderhalden, C., Needham, I., Stefan, H., Schulz, M. and Schoppmann, S., eds. 8. Dreiländerkongress Pflege in der Psychiatrie 6-7 October 2011 Bern, Switzerland. , 316 Bern, Switzerland: Verlag Forschung & Entwicklung Pflege, UPD.

Reports

  • Wolfensberger, P., 2009. Promotion of health with the elderly population living at home in relation to prevention of depression. Cardiff University: Cardiff University, School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies.
  • Wolfensberger, P., 2008. NANDA Nursing Diagnoses in Contemporary Mental Health Nursing Practice - Chance or Thread?. Cardiff University: Cardiff University, School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies.
  • Wolfensberger, P., 2008. From pattern appraisal to unitary appreciative inquiry - a critical reflection on the development of the unitary appreciative inquiry method. Cardiff University: Cardiff University, School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies.
  • Wolfensberger, P., 2008. The concept of despair in nursing practice - a research critique. Cardiff University: Cardiff University, School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies.

Theses

  • Wolfensberger, P., 2020. Creating meaning - understanding the experiences of people living with mental illness in Switzerland: a qualitative study. PhD Thesis. Bournemouth University, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences.
  • Wolfensberger, P., 2011. Homophobia in Nursing A critical interpretive synthesis. Master's Thesis. Cardiff University, School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies.

External Responsibilities

Attended Training

  • International Summer School 2013 - Zurich University of Applied Sciences - School of Health Professions, Institute of Nursing, 26 Aug 2013, 2 ECTS (equivalent to a total of 60 hours of course work)

Qualifications

  • PhD in Health & Social Sciences, Mental Health Nursing (Bournemouth University, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, 2020)
  • MSc in Nursing Studies (Cardiff University, 2012)

Memberships

Networks

  • Swiss Network of Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing Development and Research (npfp): http://pflegeforschung-psy.ch