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date: 20 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Given the constant and often increasing risks for violence against mental health professionals, the effective evaluation, management, and treatment of patients with psychotic agitation is of critical importance to ensuring safety. This chapter builds upon several articles of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry’s Project BETA, which proposes guidelines and best practices for the treatment of agitation. We suggest that clinicians use a tiered, progressive approach to treating agitation in which they attempt less-invasive methods such as verbal de-escalation before drug intervention, when medically appropriate. It is argued that treatment should be proportionate to the severity of agitation, and pharmacological intervention should be used as a last resort.

Keywords: psychotic agitation, BETA, mental health professionals, mental health, violence

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