Attitudes towards different containment measures: A questionnaire survey in Finnish adolescent psychiatry

A. Hottinen, Maritta Anneli Vaelimaeki, E. Sailas, H. Putkonen, G. Joffe, T. Noda, N. Lindberg

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Use of containment measures in the treatment of underage patients is controversial, and empirical evidence about which containment methods are preferred is lacking. This study aimed to investigate attitudes of staff towards various containment measures in the field of adolescent psychiatry. The sample comprised 128 Finnish nurses and doctors working in closed wards with 13- to 17-year-old patients. The attitudes were studied using the Attitude to Containment Measures Questionnaire. The three methods with the most approval were as-needed medication, transfer to specialist locked wards and mechanical restraint. The method with the least approval was the net bed. Total approval scores for the various containment measures were very similar among nurses and doctors. The differences appeared in attitudes towards mechanical restraint and constant observation, doctors showing a more critical attitude. Women tended to be more critical than men, but only intramuscular medication and mechanical restraint reached statistical significance. The results emphasize the importance of wide-ranging and in-depth training as well as the difficulty of changing practices in psychiatric wards while attitudes are so strongly pro-containment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-527
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent psychiatry
  • Attitudes
  • Containment measures
  • Staff

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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