Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Original Article

Physical Restraint Practices at the Emergency Department of a Mental Health Hospital


Department of Psychiatry, Erenköy Mental Health and Neurological Diseases Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey

Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2024; 34: 38-42
DOI: 10.5152/pcp.2024.23768
Read: 152 Downloads: 73 Published: 20 February 2024

Background: Coercive treatments can lead to ethical, legal, and clinical concerns, especially in emergency settings. The indications and characteristics of patients for whom physical restraint is indicated should be well-evaluated in order to prevent unnecessary practices. The aim of this study was to comprehensively assess the physical restraint practices in psychiatric emergencies and clinical characteristics related to their use.

Methods: All patients admitted to the emergency unit of a tertiary mental health hospital between June 1 and June 30, 2022, were included in the sample. Data were retrieved from the manual and electronic medical records. Age, gender, clinical settings, diagnosis, substance use, and other factors were categorized and analyzed, comparing physically restrained and not-restrained patients.

Results: Totally, 2051 patients were included in the study (1022 female and 1029 male). The mean age of the participants was 39.5 ± 14.8 years (female: 40.3 ± 14.8 male: 38.4 ± 14.7, P=.004). Seventy-two (3.51%) of the admitted patients were exposed to physical restraint and those had significantly lower number of applications in the past year (P=.020). The median restraint duration was 90 (60-150) minutes. Fifty-four (75.00%) of the physically restrained patients were male (P < .001), and they were significantly younger (mean age 34.5 ± 12.1 vs. 39.5 ± 14.9, P=.005). Clinical diagnoses of restrained patients were significantly different, in favor of psychosis. While 42 (58.33%) of the restrained patients were substance-negative, 15 (20.83%) were screened as positive for at least 1 substance (P < .001).

Conclusion: Physically restrained patients differ from others with regard to age, gender, and number of previous applications. Fewer hospital applications in the past year were related to higher incidence of physical restraints.

Cite this article as: Sönmez Güngör E, Poyraz E, Güvendi Melenkiş BN, Eriş Gökçe M, Durmaz O. Physical restraint practices at the emergency department of a mental health hospital. Psychiatry Clin Psychopharmacol. 2024;34(1):38-42.

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