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Title: Don't label me: a qualitative study of patients' perceptions and experiences of sedation during behavioral emergency in the emergency department
Austin Authors: Yap, Celene YL;Knott, Jonathan C;Kong, David CM;Gerdtz, Marie;Stewart, Kay;Taylor, David McD 
Affiliation: Centre for Medicine Use and Safety, Monash University, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
Emergency Department, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
Clinical Sub-Dean for Emergency Medicine, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Pharmacy Department, Ballarat Health Services, Ballarat Central, Victoria, Australia
Melbourne School of Health Science, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Issue Date: Aug-2017
Date: 2017-05-13
Publication information: Academic Emergency Medicine 2017; 24(8): 957-967
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: Behavioral emergencies are commonly seen in emergency departments. Acutely agitated patients can be difficult to manage and sedation may be required to decrease dangerous behavior and to ensure the safety of both the patient and staff. While the experience of staff caring for this population has been reported, patients' experiences with their overall management remains unknown. We aimed to describe the perceptions and experiences of patients regarding the use of sedation during acute behavioral emergencies. METHODS: Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with adults aged 18 years or older, who had received parenteral sedative medication for the management of a behavioral emergency and were deemed capable to participate. The participants were asked about their experiences of receiving care in the emergency department during the episode and their perceptions of sedation. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically. RESULTS: Data saturation was reached after 13 interviews. Two broad themes emerged: trusting relationships; and needs or wants following sedation. A trusting relationship is built through (i) confidence in care; (ii) sedation as an appropriate treatment; (iii) insight into own behavior; and (iv) humane treatment. Four subthemes of needs or wants were identified: (i) empathy; (ii) debrief; (iii) addressing concerns; and (iv) follow up. CONCLUSIONS: A trusting relationship was identified as crucial to minimize the negative impact of coercive measures used to manage behavioral emergencies. Participants expressed similar needs to patients presenting with medical problems. This study illustrates their needs for compassionate communication, adequate information about the treatment provided, and follow-up care.
DOI: 10.1111/acem.13218
Journal: Academic Emergency Medicine
PubMed URL:
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Behavioral emergencies
Lived experience
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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