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Influence of Organizational Climate and Clinician Morale on Seclusion and Physical Restraint Use in Inpatient Psychiatric Units.

Anderson E, Mohr DC, Regenbogen I, Swamy L, Smith EG, Mourra S, Rinne ST. Influence of Organizational Climate and Clinician Morale on Seclusion and Physical Restraint Use in Inpatient Psychiatric Units. Journal of Patient Safety. 2021 Jun 1; 17(4):316-322.

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OBJECTIVES: Reducing seclusion and restraint use is a prominent focus of efforts to improve patient safety in inpatient psychiatry. This study examined the poorly understood relationship between seclusion and restraint rates and organizational climate and clinician morale in inpatient psychiatric units. METHODS: Facility-level data on hours of seclusion and physical restraint use in 111 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals in 2014 to 2016 were obtained from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Responses to an annual census survey were identified for 6646 VA inpatient psychiatry clinicians for the same period. We examined bivariate correlations and used a Poisson model to regress hours of seclusion and restraint use on morale and climate measures and calculated incident rate ratios (IRRs). RESULTS: The average physical restraint hours per 1000 patient hours was 0.33 (SD, 1.27; median, 0.05). The average seclusion hours was 0.31 (SD, 0.84; median, 0.00). Physical restraint use was positively associated with burnout (IRR, 1.76; P = 0.04) and negatively associated with engagement (IRR, 0.22; P = 0.01), psychological safety (IRR, 0.48; P < 0.01), and relational climate (IRR, 0.69; P = 0.04). Seclusion was positively associated with relational climate (IRR, 1.69; P = 0.03) and psychological safety (IRR, 2.12; P = 0.03). Seclusion use was also nonsignificantly associated with lower burnout and higher engagement. CONCLUSIONS: We found significant associations between organizational climate, clinician morale, and use of physical restraints and seclusion in VA inpatient psychiatric units. Health care organization leadership may want to consider implementing a broader range of initiatives that focus on improving organizational climate and clinician morale as one way to improve patient safety.

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