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Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2000 Nov;8(5):261-70.

Seclusion and restraint: a review of recent literature.

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McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA 02478, USA.


An October 1998 Hartford Courant investigative series highlighted alleged cases of brutality and death suffered by involuntarily secluded, restrained, and/or emergently medicated patients. The resulting public and professional furor prompted a spate of new federal regulations and legislative initiatives setting national standards for reporting and clinical oversight. These events provide stimulus for this literature review. Rates, duration, and methods of seclusion and restraint still vary widely. Little evidence is available to guide clinical practice regarding relative benefits and risks of various methods to control acute adult patient aggression; even less evidence exists in child and adolescent populations. Further efficacy and effectiveness studies are needed to address this issue. Various programmatic efforts successfully reduce seclusion and restraint-at times dramatically-and can be used as examples of systematic quality improvement so "best practices" may evolve and spread throughout psychiatric inpatient settings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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