Locked Psychiatric Wards May Mean More Suicides or Escape Attempts

August 10, 2016

(Reuters) – Psychiatric patients treated on unlocked wards may attempt escape or suicide less often than peers in locked facilities, a recent study suggests. To see how security measures influenced outcomes, researchers examined data on almost 350,000 patients admitted to psychiatric hospitals in Germany over 15 years. Compared with treatment in locked wards, receiving care in unlocked wards was associated with about 34 percent lower odds of a suicide attempt, 37 percent decreased chances of escaping temporarily and 29 percent reduced risk of escaping without coming back, the study found.