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Daytime night attire as a therapeutic intervention in an acute adult psychiatric in-patient unit

  • Camilla Langan (a1) and Colm McDonald (a2)
Abstract
Aims and Method

Dressing in-patients in night attire during daytime is currently practised in many in-patient psychiatric units, despite the lack of evidence to support its benefit in reducing absconding or self-harm. Using a triangulation design, we investigated the prevalence of, attitudes towards and associations of this practice in an acute psychiatric in-patient setting in the Republic of Ireland.

Results

Case-note review revealed a high prevalence of this practice (57%) and its significant association with involuntary admission. Nursing staff believed that using night attire was effective at reducing absconding and self-harm, and that only voluntary patients should retain the right to choose their clothes. Most patients interviewed were uncomfortable in night clothes and indicated that they should be entitled to choose what to wear.

Clinical Implications

Night attire is regularly used for risk-management, despite lack of evidence supporting its efficacy and negative attitudes towards it in many patients. This practice and the reasons for its implementation deserve medical documentation.

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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.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Daytime night attire as a therapeutic intervention in an acute adult psychiatric in-patient unit

  • Camilla Langan (a1) and Colm McDonald (a2)
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