Locked doors in the management of disturbed psychiatric patients



The temporary closure of the locked ward within a psychiatric hospital provided an opportunity for the investigation of the attitudes of nursing and medical staff to patient management, and of the changes in staff and patient behaviour on the wards. Violent and aggressive behaviour places special stresses on nursing staff and appears to be an important variable leading to locking the ward door. The relationship of absconding, and staff/patient ratio to locked doors is also discussed.