Measuring the impacts of seclusion on psychiatry inpatients and the effectiveness of a pilot single-session post-seclusion counselling intervention Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Despite the accumulation of evidence demonstrating patients' accounts of trauma associated with seclusion, the use of evidence-based post-seclusion debriefing is not apparent in the published work. This study aimed to identify the impacts seclusion has on an individual using the Impact of Events - Revised (IES-R), a standardized and widely used measure of trauma symptoms, and measure the effectiveness of a post-seclusion counselling intervention in mitigating the experience of seclusion-related trauma and reducing time spent in seclusion. The study design involved a comparison of the seclusion-related trauma and time in seclusion that was experienced by consenting patients managed on the two inpatient wards of Alfred Psychiatry. To investigate the efficacy of post-seclusion counselling to reduce event-related trauma as well as the use of seclusion, a brief single-session intervention was piloted comparing outcomes for patients treated on a ward implementing semistructured post-seclusion counselling and patients treated on a ward continuing with post-seclusion support as usual. A total of 31 patients consented to participate, with approximately 47% reporting trauma symptoms consistent with 'probable post-traumatic stress disorder' (IES-R total score, >33), although there was no difference in trauma experience between groups. Significantly fewer hours were spent in seclusion for patients treated on the ward piloting the post-seclusion counselling intervention. Findings, therefore, highlight not only the potential for significant trauma stemming from a seclusion event, but also the capacity for the implementation of such interventions as post-seclusion counselling to raise awareness of the need to minimize time spent in seclusion for patients.

publication date

  • 2013