Safety hazards in patient seclusion events in psychiatric care: A video observation study

Jaakko Varpula, Maritta Välimäki, Tella Lantta, Johanna Berg, Päivi Soininen, Mari Lahti

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkelijulkaisuArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu


What is known on the subject?: Coercive measures such as seclusion are used to maintain the safety of patients and others in psychiatric care. The use of coercive measures can lead to harm among patients and staff. What the paper adds to existing knowledge?: This study is the first of its kind to rely on video observation to expose safety hazards in seclusion events that have not been reported previously in the literature. The actions that both patients and staff take during seclusion events can result in various safety hazards. Implications for practice?: Constant monitoring of patients during seclusion is important for identifying safety hazards and intervening to prevent harm. Nursing staff who use seclusion need to be aware of how their actions can contribute to safety hazards and how they can minimize their potential for harm. Abstract: Introduction Seclusion is used to maintain safety in psychiatric care. There is still a lack of knowledge on potential safety hazards related to seclusion practices. Aim To identify safety hazards that might jeopardize the safety of patients and staff in seclusion events in psychiatric hospital care. Method A descriptive design with non-participant video observation was used. The data consisted of 36 video recordings, analysed with inductive thematic analysis. Results Safety hazards were related to patient and staff actions. Patient actions included aggressive behaviour, precarious movements, escaping, falling, contamination and preventing visibility. Staff actions included leaving hazardous items in a seclusion room, unsafe administration of medication, unsecured use of restraints and precarious movements and postures. Discussion This is the first observational study to identify safety hazards in seclusion, which may jeopardize the safety of patients and staff. These hazards were related to the actions of patients and staff. Implications for Practice Being better aware of possible safety hazards could help prevent adverse events during patient seclusion events. It is therefore necessary that nursing staff are aware of how their actions might impact their safety and the safety of the patients. Video observation is a useful method for identifying safety hazards. However, its use requires effort to safeguard the privacy and confidentiality of those included in the videos.

LehtiJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - huhtik. 2022
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä, vertaisarvioitu


Funding Information:
We would like to thank the Finnish Work Environment Fund for the funding of this study, and the University of Turku Graduate School for the salaried doctoral candidate position (Jaakko Varpula). We also would like to thank PhD, Adjunct professor, and Director of Hyvinkää Hospital Area, Raija Kontio, who assisted in the realization of data collection, and all the patients and staff involved in the study.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Finnish Work Environment Fund (116181 Maritta Välimäki, 116181 Mari Lahti) and the University of Turku Graduate School (Jaakko Varpula)

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • 3124 Neurologia ja psykiatria
  • 316 Hoitotiede

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