Reflections on the Use of Seclusion In an Acute Mental Health Facility
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This pilot study provides a snapshot of the use of seclusion within an acute care mental health unit in Queensland, Australia. The study collected baseline data against which practice reform aimed at reducing its use could be gauged. A mixed methodology was adopted, undertaking retrospective chart reviews, collecting qualitative survey data from individual nursing staff (n = 71) and patients (n = 4), and conducting focus groups to identify factors contributing to seclusion use. The study revealed a local facility seclusion rate of 12% compared with a national average of 10%. The re-seclusion rate of 76% was significantly higher than the national average of 31%. Eighty-seven percent of seclusion episodes were longer than 4 hours, compared with a national average of 41%. In approximately one third of cases, the required documentation was incomplete. Consumers mostly perceived seclusion as punishing and nontherapeutic, in contrast to staff, who generally viewed it as appropriate and potentially therapeutic.
Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services
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