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J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs. 2004 Oct;11(5):623-31.

Acute psychiatric ward rules: a review of the literature.

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City University, St Bartholomew School of Nursing & Midwifery, Department of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, London, UK.


This literature review forms a background element of a comparative study of two acute psychiatric wards in the East End of London. The research focused on ward rules as a means of investigating the relationship between the flexibility/inflexibility of ward nursing regimes and patient outcomes. Previous studies identified a relationship between ward rules and patient aggression. Other studies identified a link between absconding by inpatients and nurses' attitudes towards rule enforcement. However, an in-depth exploration of psychiatric ward rules from the perspective of nurses and patients has not been undertaken previously.

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