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Characteristics and outcomes of patients admitted to a psychiatric intensive care unit in a medium secure unit

  • Mairead Dolan (a1) and Alan Lawson (a2)
Abstract
Aims and Method

There have been no reports on psychiatric intensive care units (PICUs) in medium secure psychiatric facilities. Using case files, we retrospectively examined the characteristics and outcomes of 73 patients who were admitted to a PICU in a medium secure unit between 1 July 1994 and 30 April 1998.

Results

The PICU population was predominantly male, suffering from illness and detained under Part III of the Mental Health Act, 1983. Although the mean length of stay was 75 days, the majority were ultimately transferred to less intensive nursing environments and only nine required transfer to maximum security. In 10% of cases PICU admission was owing to lack of appropriate facilities elsewhere.

Clinical Implications

Although the PICU was intended as a crisis facility for the management of challenging behaviours, its function was affected by the lack of clear admission and discharge criteria and appropriate facilities for patients with diverse mental, physical and security needs.

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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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American Psychiatric Association (1987) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (3rd edn, revised) (DSM–III–R). Washington DC: APA.
Citrome, L., Green, L. & Fost, R. (1994) Length of stay and recidivism on a psychiatric intensive care unit. Hospital and Community Psychiatry, 45, 7476.
Hafner, R. J., Lammersma, J., Ferris, R., et al (1989) The use of seclusion: a comparison of two psychiatric intensive care units. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 23, 235239.
Hyde, C. E. & Harrower-Wilson, C. (1996) Psychiatric intensive care in acute psychosis. International Clinical Psychopharmacology, 11(suppl. 2), 6165.
Michalon, M. & Richman, A. (1990) Factors affecting length of stay in a psychiatric intensive care unit. General Hospital Psychiatry, 2, 303308.
Rachlin, S. (1973) On the need for a closed ward in an open hospital: the psychiatric intensive care unit. Hospital and Community Psychiatry, 24, 829833.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Characteristics and outcomes of patients admitted to a psychiatric intensive care unit in a medium secure unit

  • Mairead Dolan (a1) and Alan Lawson (a2)
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