Is haloperidol an effective single agent treatment for psychosis-induced aggression or agitation?

BEEM Bottom Line

Why is this study important?

Chemical sedation of an agitated patient requires an agent with rapid onset of sedation and few side effects. This study attempts to determine effectiveness of haloperidol in terms of time to onset of adequate sedation when used for sedation of patients with psychosis-induced agitation. However, in many if not most emergency presentations, the differential diagnosis of other causes of agitation must be excluded. To prematurely conclude that the agitation is due to psychosis alone, without consideration of the possibility of intoxication, poisonings, or medical conditions is hazardous. Thus, when choosing chemical sedation, one needs to consider all potential causes to minimize adverse effects or harm pending confirmation of a diagnosis.

Which, if any, threats to validity are most likely to have an impact on the results and how?

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