Rapid Communication| Volume 20, ISSUE 6, P282-287, December 2006

Are Patients' Views on Seclusion Associated With Lack of Privacy in the Ward?

      The lack of single-bed rooms in psychiatric wards may reduce the possibility of patients getting sufficient rest and privacy and may increase their risk of being overstimulated. This study explored whether residing in single- versus multiple-bed rooms in a psychiatric ward was associated with psychiatric patients' opinions about seclusion. More specifically, it was studied whether patients who had shared a room with other patients prior to seclusion rated seclusion more favorably. It was thought that they would rate seclusion more favorably due to the lack of rest they previously experienced in their regular room. For this, the Patient View-of-Seclusion Questionnaire of Hammill, McEvoy, Koral, and Schneider [Hammill, K., McEvoy, J., Koral, H., & Schneider, N. (1989). Hospitalized schizophrenic patient views about seclusion. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 50, 174–177] was completed by 54 secluded adult patients hospitalized in a locked ward of a Dutch psychiatric hospital. A significant association was found between residing in multiple-bed rooms prior to seclusion and a less negative view on seclusion. This finding suggests that the ward environment may have a rather large impact on how seclusion is perceived. The results underline the need for single-bed rooms in the treatment of psychiatric inpatients.
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