Feature Article

Acute psychosis: safe management of a frightening presentation

ANTHONY W.F. HARRIS, NICHOLAS CARR

Figures

© photographee.eu/ stock.adobe.com model used for illustrative purposes only
© photographee.eu/ stock.adobe.com model used for illustrative purposes only

Abstract

Acute psychosis is a rare presentation in general practice. Safe management requires preparation and a team response from everyone in the practice. An accurate assessment, aimed at determining the cause of the psychosis, the capacity of the patient  to consent to treatment and where treatment should occur, as  well as emergency management, will significantly improve the outcome in this difficult situation.

Key Points

  • Acute psychosis is rare but frightening for the person experiencing it and for the people they are in contact with.
  • The safety and security of yourself, your clinic staff and the patient are the first priority.
  • Have a practice crisis response plan ready.
  • The immediate task is to engage with the patient and make them feel secure and understood.
  • Assessment is aimed at determining the cause of the psychosis, the capacity of the patient to consent to treatment and where the treatment should occur.

Figures

© photographee.eu/ stock.adobe.com model used for illustrative purposes only
© photographee.eu/ stock.adobe.com model used for illustrative purposes only