Research Output

The use of seclusion in learning disability services.

  Seclusion is commonly used in learning disability health services, despite the lack of demonstrated effectiveness. This article reviews the use of seclusion in learning disability services. As relevant literature was limited, literature
from the mental health field is also considered. There are four main findings from this review. First, it appears that seclusion is commonly used for a number of reasons across learning disability services. It is perceived by health professionals to be effective, although there is limited research to
support this. Furthermore, there is a lack of training of health professionals in the use of seclusion. In general, staff perceptions of seclusion appear to be negative, although they still tend to use seclusion for the management of challenging behaviour. This may reflect a lack of resources to effectively
manage challenging behaviour in people with learning disabilities. It may also reflect a lack of skills, knowledge or evidence for interventions by staff and management in people with challenging behaviour. The clinical and research implications of these results are discussed.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    31 May 2008

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    RJ101 Child Health. Child health services


Powell, H., Alexander, A. & Karatzias, T. (2008). The use of seclusion in learning disability services. Learning disability practice. 11, 12-16. ISSN 1465-8712



Learning disabilities; seclusion; challenging behaviour; disruptive behaviour; mental health services;

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