Implementation of a case formulation to reduce restrictive interventions on a psychiatric intensive care unit: quasi-experimental single case evaluation.

Publication date: Jul 14, 2023

Despite the use of case formulation being encouraged for in-patient psychiatric care, there have been no previous examples and evaluations of this type of work on a psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU). To evaluate whether a schema-informed formulation with a patient diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and mild learning difficulties was effective in reducing the use of restrictive interventions. A biphasic n = 1 quasi-experimental design with an 8-week baseline versus an 8-week intervention phase. The restrictive outcomes measured were use of physical restraint, seclusion, and intramuscular rapid tranquilisation. The formulation was developed through eight one-to-one sessions during the baseline period, and was implemented via six one-to-one sessions during the intervention phase and discussion at the ward reflective practice group. The intervention encouraged better communication of schema modes from the patient and for staff to then respond with bespoke mode support. Incidents involving need for seclusion, restraint and rapid tranquilisation extinguished. The need for making access to psychological input a routine aspect of the care in PICUs and the necessity for developing a methodologically more robust evidence base for psychological interventions on these wards.

Concepts Keywords
Base aggression
Intramuscular formulation
Psychiatric in-patient CBT
Tranquilisation schema modes


Type Source Name
disease MESH personality disorder
disease MESH autism spectrum disorder
drug DRUGBANK Tropicamide
drug DRUGBANK Etoperidone

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