The use of physical restraint has been a controversial intervention in the nursing management of hospitalized elderly patients in many countries. This ethnographic study was conducted in one psychogeriatric ward in Hong Kong in order to explore what determines psychiatric nurses' decisions to use restraints on their elderly patients. By comparing the findings of three data sources, comprising semistructured interviews, observations, and clinical records, five main themes were identified with regard to the nurses decision of restraint use. They included the rationale of physical restraint, consideration of alternative measures, consideration of adverse consequences, ethical considerations, and policy and documentation of restraint use. The findings of this study demonstrate that nurses must question the established practice myths about restraint use being the best way to maintain patient safety. Most importantly, nurses need cognitive and ethical preparation to face different situations in which physical restraint may be used.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Phychiatric Mental Health