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Acute in-patient psychiatry: how patients spend their time on acute psychiatric wards

  • Jonathan Radcliffe (a1) and Roger Smith (a2)
Abstract
Aims and Method

We observed levels of social interaction and activity among in-patients on 16 acute psychiatric wards in 6 hospitals in a large mental health trust. Each ward was observed for 1 week and attendance at organised activities was audited over 3-week periods.

Results

At any time during the day 84% of in-patients were socially disengaged and mainly inactive. On average only 4% of in-patients' time was spent in an organised group activity, with many in-patients opting out altogether. Provision and take-up of group activity programmes varied widely between wards.

Clinical Implications

Provision of organised activity needs to be a higher priority in acute services, and there should be national and local standards for what should be provided. Concerted organisational strategies and assertive approaches by staff are needed to engage in-patients in group activity programmes.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Collins, J. F., Ellsworth, R. B., Casey, N. A., et al (1985) Treatment characteristics of psychiatric programs that correlate with patient community adjustment. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 41, 299308.
Department of Health (2002) Mental Health Policy Implementation Guide: Adult Acute Inpatient Care Provision. Department of Health.
Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health (1998) Acute Problems: A Survey of the Quality of Care in Acute Psychiatric Wards. The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health.
Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health (2002) An Executive Briefing on Adult Acute Inpatient Care for People with Mental Health Problems. The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health.
Sundram, C. J. (1987) Patient idleness in public hospitals. Psychiatric Quarterly, 58, 243253.
Yalom, I. D. (1983) Inpatient Group Psychotherapy. Basic Books.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Acute in-patient psychiatry: how patients spend their time on acute psychiatric wards

  • Jonathan Radcliffe (a1) and Roger Smith (a2)
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