Elevated Rates of Restraint and Seclusion in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatients in China and Their Associated Factors

Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 2021 Oct;52(5):939-944. doi: 10.1007/s10578-020-01074-6. Epub 2020 Oct 9.


To investigate the rate of restraint and seclusion (R&S) use in child and adolescent psychiatric inpatients in China and to examine factors associated with use of these interventions. As part of an official national survey, 41 provincial tertiary psychiatric hospitals in China were selected. Data from 196 youth inpatients discharged from these hospitals from March 19 to 31, 2019 were retrieved and analyzed. (1) The overall rate of R&S was 29.1% (N = 57) and the rate of restraint was 28.6% (N = 56), and seclusion was 11.7% (N = 23) respectively. (2) Compared to patients who did not require R&S, those who required R&S were more likely to have been hospitalized on an involuntary basis, more likely to present with either manic symptoms or aggressive behavior as primary reason for admission, had more frequent aggressive behaviors during hospitalization, and had a significantly longer length of stay. (3) A logistic regression showed that aggressive behaviors during hospitalization was significantly associated with the use of R&S (OR = 21.277, p < 0.001), along with three other factors: manic symptoms as a reason for admission, involuntary admission and a lower GAF score at admission (all p < 0.01). The rate of R&S is dramatically higher in child and adolescent psychiatric hospitalizations in China compared to other regions. Targeted training of staff, development of precise operational guidelines for appropriate use of R&S, and strict oversight are urgently needed to minimize the inappropriate use of R&S in child and adolescent patients.

Keywords: Adolescent; Child; China; Restraint; Seclusion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric
  • Humans
  • Inpatients*
  • Mental Disorders* / therapy
  • Patient Isolation
  • Restraint, Physical