Snacks Impacted Seclusions and Retraint Minutes at a Psychiatric Hospital

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Can someone really be struggling to manage their behavior just because they are hungry? This is what researchers Kevin Bryant, Mayong Whitman, Mikkita Hayes, and Sirah Southwell thought. So they tested their idea and presented their research titled, “Reduction in Afternoon Seclusion and Physical Restraint Minutes Following the Introduction of Additional Daily Snack” at the University of Kentucky (UK) Paper’s Day 2019, where they won an award. The team went on to win the University of Kentucky Quality Showcase in May 2019. They continued to present at Eastern State Hospital's (ESH) Research and Practice Initiatives Day (RAPID) where they won the 2019 ESH Researcher of the Year Award. The research was also shared as a poster at the Kentucky American Psychiatric Nurses Association Chapter Conference in Louisville, Kentucky and presented as a poster at the American Psychiatric Nurses Association Annual Conference in New Orleans that year.

After Kevin shared the poster at UK Paper’s Day, he was not aware that he had won. In fact, after presenting, Kevin left UK to return to work at ESH.  Tanna McKinney, an ESH colleague with whom Kevin had carpooled, received a text from Marc Woods requesting that they return to the event. At that time, Tanna learned Kevin's poster had won. However, Kevin did not know he had won until it was announced.

Kevin shares, “In my professional career, I have never been a part of something that was as impactful on patient care, safety, and satisfaction, or as rewarding to the group of us who were involved with it. It was a great learning experience. The idea was simple: give patients some food and maybe their behaviors improve. However, the planning for such a 'small' intervention took months to finally implement. This showed how implementing new processes in an organization takes time and planning to improve success. This was a great opportunity that I had the honor to be a part. I will remember it for the rest of my life.”

Kevin and his team's research efforts were supported by the Behavioral Health Wellness Environments for Living and Learning (BH WELL) research team led by Dr. Zim Okoli. Kevin has gone on to become part of the Work Learning Program's doctoral cohort where he is completing his second year of studies toward a doctorate of nursing practice. The Work Learning Program, supported by the BH WELL team, is provided as part of the Academic-Clinical Partnership between Eastern State Hospital, UK HealthCare, and UK College of Nursing.