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A cross-sectional prospective study of seclusion, restraint and involuntary medication in acute psychiatric wards: patient, staff and ward characteristics

DOI: 10.1186/1472-6963-10-89

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Multilevel logistic regression using Stata was applied with data from 1016 involuntary admitted patients that were linked to data about wards. The sample comprised two hierarchical levels (patients and wards) and the dependent variables had two values (0 = no use and 1 = use). Coercive measures were defined as use of seclusion, restraint and involuntary depot medication during hospitalization.The total number of involuntary admitted patients was 1214 (35% of total sample). The percentage of patients who were exposed to coercive measures ranged from 0-88% across wards. Of the involuntary admitted patients, 424 (35%) had been secluded, 117 (10%) had been restrained and 113 (9%) had received involuntary depot medication at discharge. Data from 1016 patients could be linked in the multilevel analysis. There was a substantial between-ward variance in the use of coercive measures; however, this was influenced to some extent by compositional differences across wards, especially for the use of restraint.The substantial between-ward variance, even when adjusting for patients' individual psychopathology, indicates that ward factors influence the use of seclusion, restraint and involuntary medication and that some wards have the potential for quality improvement. Hence, interventions to reduce the use of seclusion, restraint and involuntary medication should take into account organizational and environmental factors.Use of coercion in treatment is controversial [1-5], and reducing use of coercion in psychiatric services is a priority health political issue in Western countries [6-8]. Too much use of coercion in mental health care may be a threat to the quality of care, as well as to patients' human rights. It is of crucial importance to develop a better understanding of the processes and factors involved to reduce the use of coercion. There is evidence of considerable variation in the extent to which coercive measures are used. This is shown in international comparative studie


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