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Vol 20, No 4 (2023)
Research paper
Published online: 2023-12-28
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Prevalence and factors related to patients’ abscond from a psychiatric hospital in Iran from 2011 to 2020

Elnaz Takzare1, Reza Zeighami2, Seyed Alireza Haji Seyed Javadi3, Ahad Alizadeh4
Psychiatria 2023;20(4):152-158.

Abstract

Introduction: In addition to the unfortunate consequences for the patient and family, abscond increases the responsibility and workload of hospital staffs. The aim of the study was to identify the prevalence and factors related to patients’ abscond from a psychiatric hospital 2011 to 2020.

Material and methods: In this descriptive epidemiological study, patients’ files were reviewed over a ten-year period. Data collection tools included a questionnaire of demographic information such as patient’s characteristics.

Results: The research sample consisted of 14,446 files reviewed, and 204 files related to patient escape were extracted. The escape rate was 1.61%, an average upward rate. According to the results, the incidence of patients’ escape had decreased from 3.91% in 2011 to 0.86% in 2020. The highest escape rate was observed in men (83.82%), single (41.67%) and with undergraduate education (50.98%). Also, people with a history of drug use and more extended hospital stays had higher escape rates (72.55%). The highest escape rate is in summer with an incidence of 19.87%, and the lowest rate is in winter with a prevalence of 10.18%.

Conclusions: The possibility of patient escape is considered a nursing diagnosis for all patients with mental disorders, and appropriate preventive measures should be implemented. The necessary interventions by the healthcare team can reduce patients’ motivation to escape by reducing their psychological, social, and communication problems. Therefore, it is necessary to pay more particular attention to patients by identifying those at risk of escape and reducing the rate of escape by providing a high-security environment.

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