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Patients' perceptions of their stay in a psychiatric seclusion area

  • Valentina C. Iversen (a1) (a2), Torill Sallaup (a3), Arne E. Vaaler (a2) (a4), Anne-Sofie Helvik (a5) (a6), Gunnar Morken (a1) (a2) and Olav Linaker (a2) (a7)...


Background: The psychological, social, and physical aspects of the ward milieu affect treatment outcomes and patient satisfaction. The primary aim of the present study was to describe and explore patients’ perceptions of their stay at a Norwegian seclusion area. The patients’ experience of having received help and support from the staff, sense of respectful treatment, information received regarding effects and side effects from medication, and feelings of security in the seclusion areas were of interest.

Method: In a given period, all patients acutely admitted to a seclusion area were evaluated on a number of rating scales. Immediately after discharge they were invited to evaluate their treatment satisfaction on an eight-item VAS-scale.

Results: The main finding is that the patients generally experienced the stay as positive. The three single items of support from the staff, a sense of respectful treatment, and feelings of security were assessed as positive, while the patients’ experience of having received help and information regarding medication was evaluated as neither positive nor negative.

Conclusion: In general, patients experienced their stay as positive. The patients that were admitted voluntarily reported significantly better experiences with regard to the help received, support from the staff, and respectful treatment.


Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Prof. Valentina C. Iversen, St. Olavs Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Østmarka, Postal Box 3008, Lade, 7441 Trondheim, Norway. Tel: +4773864500; Fax: +4773864902; E-mail:


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