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An Assessment Of Levels Of Safety In Psychiatric Units

May 2017
EBD Journal Club


Bayramzadeh, S. (2017). An assessment of levels of safety in psychiatric units. HERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 10(2), 66-80.


Objectives: This article aims to understand the incident patterns in relation to different types of spaces within a psychiatric unit, which are discussed using the five levels of safety framework.

Methods: In an 81-bed psychiatric hospital, this mixed-method study drew 7 years of incident reports and caregivers’ perceptions gathered through focus groups. Incident reports on physical safety were analyzed based on the five levels of safety framework (N ¼ 1,316). Focus groups (n ¼ 9) explored the caregivers’ viewpoints on patient safety and five categories of spaces.

Results: Overall findings support the five levels of safety pattern, confirming that most incidents occurred in patient rooms and bathrooms; moreover, relatively fewer incidents happened in dayrooms and corridors. Elopements are higher in hallways and dayrooms. Suicide is most common in patient rooms and bathrooms, and violence is more frequent in dayrooms. Focus groups results yielded insightful recommendations.

Conclusions: Levels of safety framework can be adapted to seven categories where seclusion room and admission area would be two of the spaces with least incidents.

Keywords: behavioral health, mental health, patient safety, patient-centered design, psychiatric hospital