Psychiatric intensive care units: A literature review


Bowers L., Jeffery D., Bilgin H. , Jarrett M., Simpson A., Jones J.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SOCIAL PSYCHIATRY, vol.54, no.1, pp.56-68, 2008 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 54 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0020764007082482
  • Title of Journal : INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SOCIAL PSYCHIATRY
  • Page Numbers: pp.56-68

Abstract

Background: Psychiatric Intensive Care Units (PICU) have been part of most inpatient psychiatric services for some time, although information about their functioning and outcome has not previously been collated.

Aim: To conduct a systematic literature review to assess the current state of knowledge about such services.

Method: A search of electronic databases was undertaken, followed by obtaining additional references from items obtained.

Results: Over 50 papers in English containing some empirical data were identified. Most studies were retrospective. Typical PICU patients are male, younger, single, unemployed, suffering from schizophrenia or mania, from a Black Caribbean or African background, legally detained, with a forensic history. The most common reason for admission is for aggression management, and most patients stay a week or less. Evidence of the efficacy of PICU care is very poor.

Conclusions: Most research so far has been small scale, and more substantial work using better methodologies is clearly required.

 

Background: Psychiatric Intensive Care Units (PICU) have been part of most inpatient psychiatric services for some time, although information about their functioning and outcome has not previously been collated.