What are adult psychiatric inpatients' experience of seclusion: A systematic review of qualitative studies

Louise Askew, Paul Fisher, Peter Beazley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
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Introduction There is limited understanding of patients' seclusion experience. A 2013 systematic review provides some insight; however, more knowledge is required in order to improve patient care. This is a systematic review of qualitative research into the patient experience of seclusion. The qualitative focus enables the phenomena to be the central focus. Question "What are adult psychiatric inpatients' experience of seclusion?" and "What is the quality of the applicable research?" Method Electronic searches for qualitative research published between 2006 and 2017 were undertaken. Data were excluded if it was not explicitly related to seclusion. Research was appraised using three standardized appraisal criterion. Themes were generated through thematic synthesis. Results Eight papers met inclusion criteria; four had been translated into English. Four themes were identified: "feeling vulnerable," "feeling neglected and abused," "disconnecting" and "seclusion is dangerous to mental health." Participants felt vulnerable and without control. They experienced staff and room as neglectful and abusive. Participants mentally disconnected. The experience threatened participants' mental health. Discussion Participants' experience is an amalgamation of interpersonal experience and the environment. Disconnecting may be a coping strategy. Implications for practice The findings have implications for seclusion practice, staff training and clinical supervision. Specific attention needs to be paid to the staff-patient interaction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-285
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Issue number7-8
Early online date7 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019


  • patient experience
  • qualitative methodology
  • seclusion and restraint
  • systematic literature reviews

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