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Psychiatr Q. 2015 Dec;86(4):545-54. doi: 10.1007/s11126-015-9352-8.

Predictors of Seclusion or Restraint Use Within Residential Treatment Centers for Children and Adolescents.

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Loyola University Maryland, 4501 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD, 21210, USA.
Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 Choke Cherry Road, Rockville, MD, 20857, USA.


This study identified predictors of seclusion or restraint use among licensed and/or accredited residential treatment centers (RTCs) for children and youth in the United States responding to a federally-sponsored survey of mental health services. 693 licensed and/or accredited child and adolescent RTCs responded to questions about the demographic and admission status of clients served on an identified date, services offered, size, ownership, funding, and their use of seclusion or restraint practices within the preceding 12 months. Logistic regression was used to determine factors predicting facility use of seclusion or restraint. A large majority of licensed and/or accredited child and adolescent RTCs (82 %) reported using seclusion or restraint in the prior year. Contrary to prior research, individual patient characteristics (percent of males, minorities, and involuntary admissions) did not predict the use of coercive techniques. Instead facility and funding variables accounted for approximately 27 % of the variance in the use of seclusion or restraint. Larger, privately-owned RTC's funded primarily through public monies and which offered medication and programming for SED youth were more likely to endorse having used seclusion or restraint in the previous year. Despite visible policy and advocacy efforts to reduce seclusion and restraint use over the past decade, a majority of licensed and/or accredited RTCs for children and adolescents report using such practices. Findings emphasize the importance of examining facility-level variables in predicting their use, and highlight the disconnect between nationally espoused goals and current practices regarding coercive techniques in child and adolescent RTCs.


Residential treatment centers; Restraint; Seclusion; Youth

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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