Seclusion Practice in a Canadian Forensic Psychiatric Hospital.
M. L. A. G. Ahmed,
Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
29(3): 303-309, 2001.
In this study, seclusion practice was examined in a multilevel, secure psychiatric
hospital, serving federally sentenced individuals in the Prairie Region, as<zzaq;2> defined by
the Correctional Service of Canada. Between August 1996 and February 1999, 183 patients
(27.7% of total admissions) were secluded on 306 occasions. The mean duration of seclusion was
90.3 hours (minimum 1 hour; maximum 908 hours). A higher proportion of female patients (60%)
was secluded than of male patients (25%). Sixty-five percent of the patients were secluded once,
29.5 percent two to four times, and 5.5 percent more than four times. Suicidal threats and
self-harm gestures were the reasons for initiating seclusion in 27.4 percent of cases. Patients with
diagnosed substance-related disorders accounted for 40.8 percent of all seclusion episodes,
whereas those with schizophrenia and related psychoses accounted for 28.1 percent. These
findings suggest that seclusion remains a relatively common intervention in some disturbed
patients in a forensic setting.