The investigators reviewed protocols for the pharmacological management of acute severe behavioural disturbance (ASBD) used in Australasian psychiatric settings. Relevant literature was also examined, with a focus on Australian research.
All Fellows of the RANZCP were emailed on two occasions in 2014 requesting a copy of the guidelines for pharmacological management of the ASBD patient used in their workplace. A literature search was also undertaken.
Thirty-six pharmacological management protocols for the ASBD patient were received. Twenty-six of these referred to patients aged 18–65 years and were selected for analysis. A number of recent publications provided new evidence in relation to the safe and effective management of patients with ASBD.
ASBD is a heterogeneous, transnosological set of presentations requiring careful assessment and rational clinical decision making. Treatment protocols arising from an evolving evidence base provide safe and effective pathways for the majority of patients. However, sound clinical knowledge and a careful assessment of each presentation is required to enable the clinician to tailor treatment individually.