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J Telemed Telecare. 2003;9(3):176-9.

Remote assessment of the use of seclusion and restraint with paediatric psychiatric patients.

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Prairie at St John's, Fargo, North Dakota 58103, USA.


Agencies regulating US psychiatric inpatient facilities require face-to-face patient assessments by physicians within one hour of the use of seclusion or restraint. In a pilot study, we compared face-to-face and remote assessments using videoconferencing in relation to response times and physicians' ratings of aspects of seclusion or restraint events involving paediatric patients at a private psychiatric hospital. Fifteen paired face-to-face and remote assessments were compared. Remote assessments occurred more rapidly than face-to-face assessments and more took place while seclusion or restraint was still being used. There was little disagreement between the physicians' ratings in face-to-face and remote assessment conditions. Remote assessment may therefore be a rapid and reliable method for physicians to evaluate the use of seclusion and restraint.

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