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 When a fish becomes fluid
17.12.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht Some brain tumors may respond to immunotherapy, new study suggests
11.12.2018 | Columbia University Irving Medical Center

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: Data storage using individual molecules

Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Pressure tuned magnetism paves the way for novel electronic devices

18.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

New type of low-energy nanolaser that shines in all directions

18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA research reveals Saturn is losing its rings at 'worst-case-scenario' rate

18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>