Document Type

DNP - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Polly Hulme


weighted blanket, inpatient mental health, anxiety, agitation, insomnia


Introduction: Weighted Blankets (WBs) are a non-pharmacological treatment that can be used to reduce anxiety, agitation, and insomnia in the inpatient mental health (MH) setting. Typically, as-needed (PRN) medications are used first-line with these symptoms. The addition of PRN medications to scheduled medications can cause drug-drug interactions, dependency, adverse side effects, increased healthcare costs and reduced medication compliance. Evidence Summary: WBs are a sensory based intervention (SBI) that provides deep pressure stimulation (DPS). DPS, an evidence-based intervention, has shown to reduce stress symptoms and increase calming symptoms. WBs are a form of DPS used in the inpatient MH setting. WBs have the ability to decrease anxiety, agitation, and insomnia and provide a promising alternative to PRN medications being used to control these symptoms.
Gaps: Limited research exists looking at the impact of WB use in the inpatient adult MH setting. Research specifically regarding the impact of WB on PRN medication use was not found.
Recommendations for Practice: WBs are a safe treatment that can possibly reduce anxiety, agitation, and insomnia among MH patients. This treatment may lead to a decrease in the quantity of PRN medications needed to control these symptoms.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Blankets -- Therapeutic use.
Mental health.
Mind and body therapies.
Mental illness -- Alternative treatment.
Agitation (Psychology)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 2020 Catherine Andela-Ruth