Introduction. Agitation is a common problem in psychiatric care with serious clinical and economic consequences. Methodology. The aim of the study was to define and characterize the agitation states present in usual medical practice in the acute and emergency units of a psychiatric hospital. Two nominal groups, one with 7 nurses and the other with 10 psychiatrists from the Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu, were established. Results. The nurses described two main states forming the endpoints of a spectrum: from mild (pre-agitation) to severe (agitation). A third state was outlined in which agitation was characterized by disorganized behavior problems. Various care packages were described for each agitation state. The care packages were divided into first, second and third line approaches. The first line approaches (i.e., verbal containment) were used on every (pre)agitated patient. If the first line approach was not effective, the second and third line approaches were implemented, culminating with physical restraint. The psychiatrists described 3 states: a mild initial state (anxiety and irritability), moderate (pre-agitation without aggressiveness) and a severe state of agitation with aggressiveness and/or violence. Conclusions. In order to avoid progression to a severely agitated state, both groups agreed on the importance of appropriate verbal containment for all states. This would be followed by environmental measures, medication and mechanical restrain depending on the severity of the state.
|Translated title of the contribution
|Qualitative study of the agitation states and their characterization, and the interventions used to attend them
|Number of pages
|Actas Espanolas de Psiquiatria
|Published - 1 Sept 2016