Physical restraint in a therapeutic setting: A necessary evil?

Perkins, E, Prosser, H, Riley, D and Whittington, R 2012, 'Physical restraint in a therapeutic setting: A necessary evil?' , International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 35 (1) , pp. 43-49.

Full text not available from this repository.


Physical restraint of people experiencing mental health problems is a coercive and traumatic procedure which is only legally permitted if it is proportionate to the risk presented. This study sought to examine the decision-making process used by mental health staff involved in a series of restraint episodes in an acute care setting. Thirty nurses were interviewed either individually or in focus groups to elicit their views on restraint and experience in specific incidents. Four factors which influenced the decision to restrain were identified: contextual demands, a lack of alternatives; the escalatory effects of restraint itself; and perceptions of risk. While some of these factors are amenable to change through improvements in reflective practice, training and organisational culture, nurses viewed restraint as a necessary evil, justified on the basis of the unpredicatable nature of mental illness and the environment in which they worked.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Health Sciences
Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Law and Psychiatry
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0160-2527
Depositing User: H Prosser
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2012 15:51
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 22:51

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)