Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Locked door psychiatric units have more disadvantages than advantages say staff

25.04.2006


The disadvantages of locking the front doors of psychiatric units outnumber the advantages by more than two to one according to a study published in the latest Journal of Clinical Nursing.



Researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden interviewed 40 mental health nurses and nursing assistants working on seven Swedish psychiatric inpatient wards with locked entrance doors.

The majority of patients in their care (45 per cent) had been diagnosed with mood disorders, 33 per cent had anxiety, personality or other disorders and 22 per cent had schizophrenia and psychotic disorders.


Eight advantages and 18 disadvantages were cited by the staff and most of these concerned patients’ experiences.

“Enabling staff to control patients was felt to be an advantage by 85 per cent of staff, providing patients with secure and efficient care by 73 per cent and protection against the outside world by 68 per cent” says lead author Kristina Haglund.

“We know where the patients are” commented one member of staff, while another said that “it gives patients a sense of security when the ward is locked.” Another said that family members were relieved to “know that the patient is safe and secure.”

But there were twice as many disadvantages to contend with.

“The most common disadvantage, mentioned by 83 per cent of respondents, was that controlling the door was an uncomfortable and time-consuming task for staff, which could interrupt ongoing duties or contact with patients” adds Kristina Haglund.

“75 per cent felt that having a locked door could reduce patients’ self-confidence and feeling of personal responsibility.

“48 per cent also expressed worries that it created a non-caring environment and could make patients feel that they had to depend on staff to open the door.”

One member of staff expressed concern that rattling keys could “intensity the ‘prison’ atmosphere” and others worried that it added “to the feeling of illness”, caused “agitation” or made patients “passive”. Staff also talked about difficult issues relating to voluntary patients who didn’t need to be locked in.

Locked doors also made staff question their role. “At the same time that you are caring for a patient you must be a sort of guard too” said one respondent. Other staff said it made them feel “shut-in”.

There was also practical concern that locked doors could be a hindrance in an emergency.

Just over half of the staff surveyed (53 per cent) had also worked on an open door psychiatric unit. The majority (70 per cent) were female and the average age of the 20 registered nurses was 52 – five years older than the 20 mental health nurse assistants.

The registered nurses had been working in their current role for an average of 10 years, compared with eight years for the nurse assistants.

39 of the 40 participants mentioned both advantages and disadvantages during their taped interviews, which averaged 20 minutes and were carried out by an interviewer with extensive experience of working in mental health care.

One participant – a mental health nursing assistant – mentioned only disadvantages.

Both groups cited an almost equal number of advantages, but registered nurses mentioned more than 27 per cent more disadvantages.

Another survey carried out in the same year as this research found that three-quarters of Swedish psychiatric units were locked.

“It’s clear from our research that staff have mixed feelings about locked door psychiatric units” concludes Kristina Haglund.

“On the one hand locked doors can undermine the purpose of the care being provided. But on the other hand, they can help staff to provide patients with a structured and safe environment that reduces the risk of them leaving the ward and harming themselves or others.”

Annette Whibley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/jcn

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

Im Focus: Autoimmune Reaction Successfully Halted in Early Stage Islet Autoimmunity

Scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München have discovered a mechanism that amplifies the autoimmune reaction in an early stage of pancreatic islet autoimmunity prior to the progression to clinical type 1 diabetes. If the researchers blocked the corresponding molecules, the immune system was significantly less active. The study was conducted under the auspices of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) and was published in the journal ‘Science Translational Medicine’.

Type 1 diabetes is the most common metabolic disease in childhood and adolescence. In this disease, the body's own immune system attacks and destroys the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fachtagung analytica conference 2018

15.01.2018 | Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Black hole spin cranks-up radio volume

15.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

A matter of mobility: multidisciplinary paper suggests new strategy for drug discovery

15.01.2018 | Life Sciences

New method to map miniature brain circuits

15.01.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>