Shielding in Mental Health Hospitals: Description and Assessment by Staff
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Shielding is defined as the confinement of patients to a single room or a separate unit/area inside the ward, accompanied by a member of staff. It is understood as both a treatment and a control. The purpose of this study is to examine how staff in psychiatric hospitals describe and assess shielding. This qualitative study uses a descriptive and exploratory design with an inductive approach. The material was acquired through the Acute Network (in Psychiatry) nationwide shielding project. Data collection was carried out by the staff, who described the shielding procedure on a semi-structured form. The analysis was inspired by Graneheim and Lundman’s qualitative content analysis. Shielding has been described as an ambiguous practice, that is, shielding can be understood in several ways. There is a clear tension between shielding as a control and shielding as a treatment, with control being described as more important. The important therapeutic elements of shielding have also been mentioned, and shielding involves isolation to different degrees.