Contributos para uma história da enfermagem de saúde mental e psiquiátrica em Portugal (1883-1885)

Translated title of the contribution: Contributions to a history of mental health and psychiatric nursing in Portugal (1883-1885)

Analisa Candeias, Luís Sá, Alexandra Esteves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Context: The Hospital de Alienados do Conde de Ferreira (HACF) was avant-garde in the assistance of the alienated in the late nineteenth century, based on the new ideas formed in Europe about psychiatry and assistance in this field. Addressing the theme of professional nursing implies treating a history that began that century; addressing the nurses includes portraying a presence that has always existed in health institutions, particularly in psychiatric ones. Aims: Characterize the daily life in the HACF (1883-1885) and analyze nurse's responsibilities in that institution. Methodology: Qualitative framework, using a historical research methodology, with documentary research/analysis, based on theoretical assumptions of Michel Foucault. Results: The HACF was inaugurated on March 24th, 1883, in Oporto, and its employees belonged to three categories: economic/clinical direction and religious worship. The nursing staff was composed of servants, nurse assistants, nurses and an inspector, belonging to the clinical direction. Nurses were the chiefs of the wards, being responsible for the nurse assistants and servants. Nurses, nurse assistants and servants should ensure the balance of the alienated and their well-being, manage the daily lives of the wards, apply treatments and prevent complications. Conclusions: Nurses presented a role of surveillance and control that allowed them to perform a biopower in the HACF's assistance space. They had specific operational responsibilities and an hierarchical structure, being those to whom the alienated resorted in first instance, within the sphere of a well-defined daily life.
Translated title of the contributionContributions to a history of mental health and psychiatric nursing in Portugal (1883-1885)
Original languagePortuguese
Number of pages14
JournalRevista Portuguesa de Enfermagem de Saúde Mental
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Nursing history
  • Psychiatry
  • Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Contributions to a history of mental health and psychiatric nursing in Portugal (1883-1885)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this