The need for accurate local information on the scale, nature and outcome of abscondingor Absence Without Leave (AWOL) from an independent UK psychiatric hospital led tothis 3-year (1997–1999) retrospective analysis of of AWOL data. One hundred andforty-eight AWOL incidents involving 88 patients were identified. Absconders werefound to be significantly younger, more likely to be detained upon admission and morelikely to be unmarried than a control group (n= 1378) of non-absconders. There were nosignificant differences for sex, length of admission or ethnicity. Descriptive data on thecircumstances surrounding AWOL events are given, with at least 24 (16.2%) incidentshaving serious adverse outcomes. Baseline absconding rates are presented for the spe-cialist clinical divisions within the hospital. There is a need for more detailed studies ofabsconding by patients within the Adolescent Mental Health Service subgroup where theabsconding rate was relatively high and engagement in risk activity whilst AWOL rela-tively frequent.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing|
|Early online date||2 Sep 2003|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|
- absconding patients
- AWOL incidence
- mental health nurses