Agitation among psychiatry inpatients can be a distressing and burdensome entity for patients, caregivers and staff. It has been poorly studied in low-middle income countries such as India both within acute care as well as long stay settings.
272 psychiatry admissions had 19.9% prevalence of agitation with the most common form being non goal directed physical agitation (13.6%). Episodes of agitation were most likely to occur on the 3rd or 2nd day of admission. Substance abuse [O.R. = 2.51(1.05–5.99)] and the presence of persecutory delusions [O.R. = 2.62(1.34–5.15)] were independently associated with agitation. It is difficult to predict violence in acutely ill individuals and there is evidence that the emergence of more serious aggression may be preceded by milder forms of agitation. Therefore, there is a need to identify various forms of agitation and its correlates. An understanding of these factors may assist in planning appropriate interventions that could improve patient outcomes and reduce the burden on caregivers.