Seclusion room vs. physical restraint in an adolescent inpatient setting: patients' attitudes

Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci. 2013;50(1):6-10.


Background: The use of physical restraints or a seclusion room for the treatment of adolescents in a psychiatric inpatient setting raises ethical dilemmas. We investigated the attitudes of adolescents towards these two means of confinement.

Method: We used a structured questionnaire to collect data on the attitudes of 50 adolescent patients, hospitalized in a closed psychiatric ward, towards the use of physical restraint versus a seclusion room.

Results: Seventy per cent of the participants in the study preferred seclusion in the seclusion room over bed restraint, whereas 22% preferred physical restraint. Eighty-two percent described seclusion in the seclusion room as less frightening than restraint. Seventy-four per cent reported that seclusion in the seclusion room improved their mental state to a larger extent than restraint. The inpatient adolescents reported feeling the time they needed to reach a state of calm was shorter when they were confined to the seclusion room than when they were physically restrained (p>.001).

Conclusions: The use of a seclusion room may be preferable compared to physical restraint for inpatient adolescents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / psychology*
  • Male
  • Patient Isolation / psychology*
  • Patient Preference / psychology*
  • Psychiatric Department, Hospital / standards*
  • Restraint, Physical / psychology*
  • Young Adult