Ergonomics in the psychiatric ward towards workers or patients?

Salerno Silvana, Forcella Laura, Di Fabio Ursula, Figà Talamanca Irene, Boscolo Paolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction. Patient's aggressive behavior is one of the major problem in the psychiatric ward. Here we present the preliminary results of a psychiatric ward case-study, of a public hospital in the Chieti province, in order to plan ergonomic improvement. Method We applied the Method of Organizational Congruencies in the psychiatric ward in order to study the relationship between organized hospital work and nurses wellbeing in a 24 hour shifts. Results We observed 58 main phases in the three work shifts. The technical actions are mainly those of any hospital wards (shift briefing, preparing and administering drugs, recording data on clinical charts, etc.). We found important differences mainly due to the nurses overcontrol activities on the patients behavior (preventing suicides or self destructive behavior), the occurrence of restraint procedure towards patients, the pollution due to patient's cigarette smoke. Discussion The fear of patient's self destructive behavior or other aggressive behaviour are the main cognitive and social aspects of this hospital ward. Nurses working in this psychiatric ward have to accept: locked doors, poor and polluted environment, restraint procedure with high risk of aggression and no availability of mental health care programs. A new interdisciplinary concept for ergonomics in psychiatry setting may represent a challenge for both nurses and patients and the community. © 2012 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1832 - 1835
Number of pages4
Issue numberSUPPL.1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Silvana, S., Laura, F., Ursula, D. F., Irene, F. T., & Paolo, B. (2012). Ergonomics in the psychiatric ward towards workers or patients? Work, 41(SUPPL.1), 1832 - 1835.