Patient ethnicity and three psychiatric intensive care units compared: the Tompkins Acute Ward Study
until further notice
SourceJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 15, 3, (2008), pp. 195-202
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI KLP
Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
SubjectExperimental Psychopathology and Treatment
Psychiatric care units provide care to disturbed patients in a context of higher security and staffing levels. Although such units are numerous, few systematic comparisons have been made, and there are indications that ethnic minority groups may be over-represented. The aim of this study was to compare the rates of adverse incidents and patterns of usage of three psychiatric intensive care units. The study used a triangulation or multi-method design, bringing together data from official statistics, local audit and interviews conducted with staff. Intensive care patients were more likely to be young, male and suffering a psychotic disorder, as compared with general acute ward patients. Caribbean patients were twice as likely, and Asian patients half as likely, to receive intensive care (age, gender and diagnosis controlled). There were large differences in service levels, staffing, team functioning and adverse incidents between the three units. Various aspects of physical security were important in preventing absconds. More evaluative research is required in order to define effective service levels, and to explore the nature of the interaction between ethnicity and inpatient care provision during acute illness.
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