Number of Seclusions in the Netherlands Higher in the 7 Years Since the End of a Nationwide Seclusion-Reduction Program

Front Psychiatry. 2021 Dec 3;12:778793. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.778793. eCollection 2021.


Introduction: Between 2006 and 2012 the Dutch government funded a nationwide program for reducing the use of seclusion. Although an initial first trend study showed that the reported number of seclusions declined during the program, the objective of a 10% annual decrease was not met. We wished to establish whether the decline had continued after funding ended in 2012. Method: Using quasi Poisson time series modeling, we retrospectively analyzed the nationally reported numbers of seclusion and involuntary medication between 1998 and 2019, i.e., before, during and after the end of the nationwide program, with and without correction for the number of involuntary admissions. Results: With and without correction for the number of involuntary admissions, there were more seclusions in the seven years after the nationwide program than during the nationwide program. Although the reported number of involuntary medications also increased, the rate of increase was slower after the end of the nationwide program than before. Conclusions: Rather than continuing to decrease after the end of the nationwide program, the number of seclusions rose. This may mean that interventions intended to reduce the use of seclusion within this program are not properly sustained in daily clinical care without an ongoing national program.

Keywords: involuntary hospitalization; involuntary medication; involuntary treatment; nationwide program; psychiatry; seclusion; seclusion reduction.