Therapeutic interventions associated with seclusion of acutely disturbed individuals

J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs. 1996 Oct;3(5):319-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2850.1996.tb00132.x.


The use of seclusion--i.e. placing an individual in a specially designed room with a locked door--continues to be an option in the management of mentally ill individuals whose behaviour is acutely disturbed, and who pose a personal and/or environmental threat. In a grounded theory study of psychiatric nurses' use of seclusion in two closed wards in a metropolitan teaching hospital in Australia, 'intervening' and 'mainstreaming' are the categories that describe nursing interventions developed from constant comparison of the data collected. Details of these interventions are presented, with reference to the skills that participants describe as necessary in the care of a mentally ill patient being secluded and then being re-integrated into ward life. Considerations for further study on the topic of seclusion are presented.

MeSH terms

  • Dangerous Behavior
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / nursing*
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Patients' Rooms*
  • Psychiatric Nursing / methods*
  • Social Isolation*