Reducing restraint and seclusion in an acute aged person's mental health unit

Hemalatha Sivakumaran, Kuruvilla George, Ken Pfukwa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Objective: This paper describes how a significant reduction in restraint and seclusion rates was achieved in an acute aged person's mental health unit. Method: We analysed seclusion and restraint data in 2009. This was supplemented with a random audit of patient files and qualitative data obtained from a survey of nursing staff. We also obtained management views on changes in management practice. Results: Four major factors were found to reduce rates of restraints and seclusion. These included: (i) leadership and support from management in nursing practices, (ii) increased multidisciplinary team input, (iii) renovations to the inpatient setting, and (iv) changes in treatment-related factors such as collection of behaviour management history and improving documentation in patient files. Conclusion: Experiences such as this provide insights and practical strategies that can be applied in other aged inpatient units to reduce or eliminate rates of seclusion and restraints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-501
Number of pages4
JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • Aged mental health services
  • Restraint
  • Seclusion

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