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 Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>