We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Cage Bed?

By Marlene Garcia
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A cage bed defines a bed completely enclosed with metal bars or netting on all sides, including the top, to confine a patient to a small area. These beds use a vertical or horizontal bar and padlock to restrain patients who exhibit aggressive behavior, control challenging behavior, and protect clients from injury. Cage beds have been banned in most countries as inhumane and degrading, but some European psychiatric institutions continue to use them as an alternative to drugging clients.

A 2003 study by the international Mental Disability Advocacy Center (MDAC) found some institutionalized patients were confined to a cage bed 24 hours a day for years to control aggressive behavior or because of insufficient staffing in some hospitals' psychiatric wards and mental institutions. The study covered the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, and Slovenia, and sparked international debate over the use of a cage bed as a client’s main living space. The advocacy center called the use of cage beds in these situations degrading, and labeled it a form of torture.

The study found some institutions were using a cage bed in violation of international human rights standards at a time when the four countries were preparing to join the European Union. The controversy led to cage beds being banned in mental health institutions in Hungary and Slovenia, and to less sweeping changes in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Researchers visited 20 psychiatric wards in hospitals and mental institutions in Eastern and Central Europe. They found staff members in nursing homes and mental wards used cage beds to control patients who exhibited difficult behavior because of severe mental disabilities. The beds were also used to confine elderly dementia clients to protect them from wandering and injuring themselves. Human rights organizations lodged protests when the study revealed some patients were placed in a cage bed as punishment for unwanted behavior.

International treaties on human rights forbid cruel or inhumane treatment of mental patients or people who live in social care, such as orphans. These treaties define solitary confinement in a cage bed as a form of torture degrading to people who cannot defend themselves. The MDAC deemed the use of these beds as too restrictive and a form of incarceration. It concluded a cage bed should only be used as a last resort, when less restrictive attempts to control a client prove ineffective.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.