The Impact of ‘Being There’: Psychiatric Staff Attitudes on the Use of Restraint
The practice of mechanically restraining psychiatric patients is constantly under debate, and staff attitudes are considered a central factor influencing restraining practices. The aim of this study was to explore associations between psychiatric staff members’ presence and participation in incidences of restraint and attitudes towards mechanical restraints. Methods: Staff members (psychiatrists, nurses, paramedical staff; N = 143 working in a government psychiatric hospital in Israel) completed a questionnaire including personal information, participation in incidents of restraint and attitudes towards mechanical restraints. Items were categorized into the following categories: security and care; humiliation and offending; control; order; education and punishment. Results: Compared to those who were not present during restraint, staff members who were present agreed significantly less with statements indicating that restraints are humiliating and offending and agreed more with statements indicating that restraints are used primarily for security and care (p < .05). Among those present in incidences of restraint, staff members who physically participated in restraint agreed significantly more with statements indicating that restraints are a means for security, care and order, and less with statements indicating restraints are humiliating and offending, compared to those present but not physically participating in restraint (p < .05). Conclusions: These findings highlight the importance of proximity of staff members to incidences of restraints. This may have implications in understanding the professional and social discourse concerning mechanical restraints.
KeywordsStaff attitudes Restraint Presence Participation
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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