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J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs. 2003 Oct;10(5):534-42.

Differences in the progress of discharged and undischarged patients in a medium secure unit: a pilot study.

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Department of Psychology, Wathwood Hospital RSU, Wath-upon-Dearne, Rotherham, UK.


This study compared 15 patients ('undischarged' group) who were showing little sign of progress in a medium secure unit (MSU) after 2 years with 15 who had been discharged from the same unit 1-2 years following admission. The two groups were compared across a number of broadly defined behavioural indices during their first 6 months and first 12 months following admission. The measures used were indices of progress to wards of lower security (highest ward status and transfers to wards of higher security) and progress in terms of leave (highest leave status and reductions in leave status). In addition, the two groups were compared on number of recorded incidents attributable to them. Discharged patients were significantly older at the time of their admission than the undischarged patients (median ages 33 and 26 years, respectively). They made more progress in their first year in terms of ward security and leave status and were responsible for fewer recorded incidents. These results were also obtained at 6 months following admission with the exception that the difference for highest ward status was not statistically significant. The findings of this small-scale study suggest that within the first 6 months of admission, it may be possible to distinguish patients who will probably make good progress in a MSU from those whose progress is likely to be very slow. Implications of the study are discussed.

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