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Sense and rest furniture is to reduce the amount of forced fixations

The psychiatric hospital in Slagelse (DK) has procured nine pieces of a special sense and rest furniture calming down the patients and bringing them out of isolation. Member of the Social Services and Psychiatric Committee of the Zealand Region, Nicolai Nicolaisen, praises the staff for going new ways in the treatment of mentally ill patients.

In order to reduce the number of fixations the psychiatric hospital in Slagelse has fitted out departments with sense and rest furniture, which, due to its shape, brings about peace of mind for the patients and draws them out of isolation. The furniture was purchased as part of the “Free of Belt Project” being supported by government funds; and the inspiration was gained from the senior care in Lolland municipality. In Lolland the furniture evoked a peace of mind in persons being usually very restless and anxious.

“From the employees I know that the patients in Slagelse are very happy with the chair because they can practice being together with other people without getting overstimulated by the surroundings. A patient has described it as anti-isolation”, Nicolai Nicolaisen, Social Democratic Party (member of the Social Services and Psychiatric Committee of the Zealand Region) reports from the very positive experiences with the special piece of furniture.

Brakes emotional escalation

The sense and rest furniture is a partly closed chair, and it got its name – Cocoon – acc. to its shape. Due to the chair shape and screening the patient can be seated in a room with other persons and be shielded against noise and disturbing impulses from outside. The chair nearly forms a small room itself, and it has loudspeakers and a Bluetooth system, which the patient can use for playing music. “Some patients use the chair because they can feel the bas and thus also themselves. In this way the chair can help curb some symptoms. More patients now seek the chair themselves because it, in different ways, conveys peace of mind. It helps to de-escalate some situations, as it is expressed in technical language, when an inappropriate and emotional escalation is being braked”, Nicolai Nicolaisen explains.

Greater quality of life

“The employees deserve praise for looking for solutions helping very ill patients get a greater quality of life. The complete, physical outfit and the employees’ new thinking point in the right direction”, Nicolai Nicolaisen states regarding the test with the nine sense and rest chairs.

He sees it just as an additional advantage that the Cocoon was developed within the region, and he is in general pleased that private companies in co-operation with public institutions can develop solutions for the health and care sector.

Furniture designer Carsten Buhl, Holbaek, designed this chair which in 2015 won the Award for Best Design at the Boutique Design exhibition in New York.

Six hospitals participating in experiment about fewer fixations

Acc. to the National Health Service of Denmark’s website the experiment with belt free departments runs between October 2014 and December 2017. Further to Slagelse also departments in Ballerup, Broenderslev, Glostrup, Aarhus and Aabenraa are participating with different arrangements.

The National Health Service formulates the purpose of the project as follows:

“The overriding pivot of the project measures is development of a belt free treatment environment by testing and implementing a number of staff-oriented, organizational efforts and new patient-oriented clinical practice”.


One of the nine specimens of the cocoon-shaped chair in the psychiatric hospital in Slagelse. The chair enables the patient to be together with others without getting overcome by sense impressions.

Further information:

Nicolai Nicolaisen, the Social Services and Psychiatric Committee of the Zealand Region, tel. +45 60 64 51 13

Carsten Buhl, furniture designer, tel. +45 20 45 13 35


Skipper Furniture AB

Box 106, SE-289 21 Knislinge
Färgerivägen 6, SE-289 33 Knislinge
Tel: +46 44 604 50

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