The use of seclusion in the Netherlands compared to countries in and outside Europe.

Kenniscentrum GGNet, Warnsveld, The Netherlands.
International Journal of Law and Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 1.19). 01/2009; 31(6):463-70. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2008.09.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The use of seclusion in psychiatric practice is a contentious issue in the Netherlands as well as other countries in and outside Europe. The aim of this study is to describe Dutch seclusion data and compare these with data on other countries, derived from the literature. An extensive search revealed only 11 articles containing seclusion rates of regions or whole countries either in Europe, Australia or the United States. Dutch seclusion rates were calculated from a governmental database and from a database covering twelve General Psychiatric Hospitals in the Netherlands. According to the hospitals database, on average one in four hospitalized patients experienced a seclusion episode. The mean duration according to the governmental database is a staggering 16 days. Both numbers seem much higher than comparable numbers in other countries. However, different definitions, inconsistent methods of registration, different methods of data collection and an inconsistent expression of the seclusion use in rates limit comparisons of the rates found in the reviewed studies with the data gathered in the current study. Suggestions are made to improve data collection, to enable better comparisons.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this review, we compare the use of coercion in mental health care in Germany and in the Netherlands. Legal frameworks and published data on involuntary commitment, involuntary medication, seclusion, and restraint are highlighted as well as the role of guidelines, training, and attitudes held by psychiatrists and the public. Legal procedures regulating involuntary admission and commitment are rather similar, and so is the percentage of involuntary admissions and the rate per 100,000 inhabitants. However, opposing trends can be observed in the use of coercive interventions during treatment, which in both countries are considered as a last resort after all other alternative approaches have failed. In the Netherlands, for a long time seclusion has been considered as preferred intervention while the use of medication by force was widely disapproved as being unnecessarily invasive. However, after increasing evidence showed that number and duration of seclusions as well as the number of aggressive incidents per admission were considerably higher than in other European countries, attitudes changed within recent years. A national program with spending of 15 million € was launched to reduce the use of seclusion, while the use of medication was facilitated. A legislation is scheduled, which will allow also outpatient coercive treatment. In Germany, the latter was never legalized. While coercive treatment in Germany was rather common for involuntarily committed patients and mechanical restraint was preferred to seclusion in most hospital as a containment measure, the decisions of the Constitutional Court in 2011 had a high impact on legislation, attitudes, and clinical practice. Though since 2013 coercive medication is approvable again under strict conditions, it is now widely perceived as very invasive and last resort. There is evidence that this change of attitudes lead to a considerable increase of the use of seclusion and restraint for some patients.
    Frontiers in Public Health 09/2014; 2:141. DOI:10.3389/fpubh.2014.00141
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Measures to keep staff and patients safe (containment) frequently involve coercion. A small proportion of patients is subject to a large proportion of containment use. To reduce the use of containment, we need a better understanding of the circumstances in which it is used and the understandings of patients and staff. Two sweeps were made of all the wards, spread over four hospital sites, in one large London mental health organization to identify patients who had been subject to high levels of containment in the previous two weeks. Data were then extracted from their case notes about their past history, current problem behaviours, and how they were understood by the patients involved and the staff. Nurses and consultant psychiatrists were interviewed to supplement the information from the case records. Twenty-six heterogeneous patients were identified, with many ages, genders, diagnoses, and psychiatric specialities represented. The main problem behaviours giving rise to containment use were violence and self-harm. The roots of the problem behaviours were to be found in severe psychiatric symptoms, cognitive difficulties, personality traits, and the implementation of the internal structure of the ward by staff. Staff's range and depth of understandings was limited and did not include functional analysis, defence mechanisms, specific cognitive assessment, and other potential frameworks. There is a need for more in-depth assessment and understanding of patients' problems, which may lead to additional ways to reduce containment use.
    Issues in Mental Health Nursing 05/2014; 35(5):364-71. DOI:10.3109/01612840.2013.871088
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Due to the decisions of the German Constitutional Court on involuntary medication and the law on the prohibition of video surveillance in psychiatry in Nordrhine-Westfalia there has been an increasing discussion on coercive measures and how to conduct, supervise and prevent them. We conducted an online survey on the current practice of coercive measures in German psychiatric hospitals (2012). An online questionnaire was developed together with the working group for the prevention of violence and coercion in psychiatry and the regional association of psychiatry-experienced people in Baden-Wuerttemberg. The survey was conducted anonymously using the e-mail distribution lists of the psychiatric associations in Germany. A total of 88 questionnaires from hospitals with obligatory responsibility for a catchment area (19.7 % of those addressed) could be analyzed. Of these 99 % used internal or external guidelines, 97.5 % conducted de-escalation training, 23 % participated in external benchmarking on the use of coercive measures. All hospitals used mechanical restraint, approximately 50 % seclusion and physical restraint was practiced in 7 %. Most, but not all hospital directors reported that mechanical restraint and seclusion were continuously (24/7) monitored. Changes in practice in the years to come were expected by the majority. The survey revealed a high critical awareness concerning the use of coercive measures and the willingness to further change the practice.
    Der Nervenarzt 08/2013; DOI:10.1007/s00115-013-3867-8 · 0.86 Impact Factor