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This study examined the expenditure of compensation received from legal claims by service users attending an outpatient methadone programme in Dublin. Most claims (n = 62) were as a result of road traffic accidents (74%) or personal injury (15%). There were 28 reports of claims resulting in payment of compensation totalling €912,871. Of the compensation not placed in trust (€477,871), almost 40% was spent on drugs and 8% on alcohol. Of those who reported no drug misuse at the time of the compensation being paid, seven out of 11 (64%) reported subsequently spending a significant amount on substance misuse.
The risks of receiving large amounts of money in this population are substantial and include initiation and exacerbation of substance misuse, and risk of overdose. Alternative ways of managing the payment of compensation should be considered for this vulnerable population.
The audit aimed to assess current senior registrar posts in child and adolescent psychiatry in Ireland in terms of working environment, conditions and training issues. The posts were compared with standards set down by the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Specialist Advisory Committee of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the National Higher Training Subcommittee of the Irish Psychiatric Training Committee.
The audit cycle was completed twice and a 100% response rate was achieved on both occasions.
Higher training posts in child and adolescent psychiatry in Ireland compare favourably to standards for training and education, but poorly for working environment, case-load and educational supervision.
This study looked at patient aggressive behaviour on an Irish psychiatric intensive care unit, and whether it was related to diagnosis, patient's insight and symptomatology. Each aggressive incident was recorded throughout the patient's stay using the Staff-Observed Aggression Scale.
Ninety-nine individuals were admitted to the unit during the study. We recorded 82 aggressive incidents, with most occurring during the daytime and on weekdays. There was no statistical difference in BPRS scores between the aggressive and non-aggressive groups. the aggressive patient group had a lower insight score than the non-aggressive group (P < 0.05) as measured on the Schedule of the Assessment of Insight. However, when gender and verbal aggression only were included in the analysis, the difference in insight was less significant (P=0.07).
Aggression is common on a psychiatric intensive care unit. Low levels of insight in patients may increase the risk of aggression.
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