University of Hertfordshire

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Use of a sensory room on an intensive care unit

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-30
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services
Early online date4 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2014


This study explores the use of a sensory room on a psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU), with a particular focus on the effect on seclusion rates and staff and patients' experiences of using the sensory room. A mixed method research design was used, with the collection of seclusion data before and after a sensory room was introduced followed by qualitative interviews with staff and patients. No significant reduction in seclusion rates was noted with the introduction of the seclusion room. However, the interviews revealed a perception among staff that there had been a reduction in seclusion rates. Other findings from the interviews were that staff and patients viewed the sensory room as a positive therapeutic intervention, and use of the sensory room had improved staff-patient communication and patients' overall experience of the PICU. The use of a sensory room should be an intervention considered by other PICUs and inpatient psychiatric settings.


This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of the following article: Suzanne Smith, and Julia Jones, 'Use of a Sensory Room on an Intensive Care Unit', Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, Vol. 52 (5): 22-30, May 2014. The final, published version is available online at DOI: 10.3928/02793695-20131126-06.

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