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A retrospective analysis of absconding behaviours by acute care culturally and linguistically diverse patients on one psychiatric hospital campus in Australia
journal contributionposted on 24.08.2020, 00:00 by K Mosel, T Ziaian, Adam Gerace, E Muir-Cochrane
Absconding (leaving without permission) has been identified as a significant problem within mental health settings (Muir-Cochrane & Mosel 2008). This research examined absconding behaviours within the context of ethnicity on one Australian psychiatric campus over 12 months. Patients from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background were compared against the overall hospital and absconding population. A total of 10 patients from a CALD background absconded 16 times. Areas of analysis also included identification of CALD patients that absconded repeatedly, diagnosis, age, ward of absconsion and the times of absconding events. In this study, approximately one in three patients from a CALD background absconds; indicating that absconding is a problem of sufficient extent to warrant greater attention. The rate of CALD patients absconding was 26.67%. CALD patients represented 20.24% of absconding and were usually males diagnosed with schizophrenic disorders (50.00%). Patients from a CALD background were at higher risk of absconding than other patients and were also over represented within the inpatient population. This paper will explore the profile of CALD patients and discuss implications for clinical practice.