Os enfermeiros e os cuidados aos alienados nos finais do século XIX
: o caso do Hospital de Alienados do Conde de Ferreira

  • Analisa Lia Silva Candeias (Student)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The nineteenth century was fruitful for the development of psychiatric science, as well as for the evolution of the assistance to the alienated. In this work was taken into account the reality of the Hospital de Alienados do Conde de Ferreira, being this institution the first to be built from scratch in Portugal within the scope of psychiatry. The study objetct was the care provided by nurses at that institution in the late
nineteenth century. It was used an historical research methodology, through documentary research and analysis, using primary and secondary sources, which can be found essentially in the archives of the Casa da Prelada - Arquivo Histórico da Santa Casa da Misericórdia do Porto and of the Biblioteca do Centro Hospitalar Conde de Ferreira, having as principal theoretical reference Michel Foucault. The purposes of this
work are to introduce an introductory scope of action to the development of mental health and psychiatric nursing and to distinguish care practices that can be considered as a track to the ingenuity and expertise that the nowadays specialist nurses present in this area. Were described portuguese contexts of the nineteenth century, with particular emphasis on the ambience of the city of Oporto. It was presented the hospital as an assistance space and the nurses as practitioners of the assistance, giving special attention to psychiatric conjuncture. Was concluded that nurses were always present in the
different hospital realities, although their action took place in a secular origin. It was presented the evolution of historical research, the theoretical frame for the development of this study, as well as its outline.
The hospital scenario under study was characterized, taking into account the procedures for its inauguration and main action in the late nineteenth century, according to the alienist perspectives that were settled in these spaces, as well as the institutional rules and codes. It was presented the profile of the actors in the assistance of the Hospital, with enhance to the alienated and the staff of the wards, that was organized in nurses, helpers and servants, regulated by a supervisor. The care provided by nurses, and consequently their interventions, were influenced by the evolution of knowledge that took place in that century, and that was brought to the core of nursing mainly through the doctors that gave voice to psychiatric science. The Hospital presented a duality in terms of assistance, both at a clinical and an
administrative level. It was established in this work a summary and transitional section, in which were determined transformation statements precursors of nursing: the integration of scientific knowledge, the identification of the sense of belonging, the experience of belonging, the assimilation of recognition, the production of that kind of knowledge, the conceptual evolution and the perception of the importance of the time axis and its integration. These transformation statements can help to define the transition in nursing from a being done to a being conceived.
Date of Award19 May 2022
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorLuís Sá (Supervisor) & Alexandra Patrícia Lopes Esteves (Co-Supervisor)


  • Nursing
  • History of nursing
  • Psichiatry
  • Mental health


  • Doutoramento em Enfermagem

Cite this