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Acute psychiatric ward rules: a review of the literature

Authors

  • J. ALEXANDER rmn ba (hons) ma,

    Corresponding author
    1. 1 Lecturer in Psychology & Communication Skills, and 2 Professor of Psychiatric Nursing, City University, St Bartholomew School of Nursing & Midwifery, Department of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, London, UK
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  • and 1 L. BOWERS rmn phd 2

    1. 1 Lecturer in Psychology & Communication Skills, and 2 Professor of Psychiatric Nursing, City University, St Bartholomew School of Nursing & Midwifery, Department of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, London, UK
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J. Alexander City University St Bartholomew School of Nursing & Midwifery Department of Applied Psychosocial Sciences 20 Bartholomew Close London EC1A 7QN UK E-mail: E.J.Alexander@city.ac.uk

Abstract

This literature review forms a background element of a comparative study of two acute psychiatric wards in the East End of London. The research focused on ward rules as a means of investigating the relationship between the flexibility/inflexibility of ward nursing regimes and patient outcomes. Previous studies identified a relationship between ward rules and patient aggression. Other studies identified a link between absconding by inpatients and nurses’ attitudes towards rule enforcement. However, an in-depth exploration of psychiatric ward rules from the perspective of nurses and patients has not been undertaken previously.

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