Clinical and Organizational Factors Related to the Reduction of Mechanical Restraint Application in an Acute Ward: An 8-Year Retrospective Analysis

Clinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental Health 3 Oct 2014 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1745017901410010094



The purpose of this study was to describe the frequency of mechanical restraint use in an acute psychiatric ward and to analyze which variables may have significantly influenced the use of this procedure. Methods: This retrospective study was conducted in the Servizio Psichiatrico di Diagnosi e Cura (SPDC) of Modena Centro. The following variables of our sample, represented by all restrained patients admitted from 1-1-2005 to 31-12-2012, were analyzed: age, gender, nationality, psychiatric diagnoses, organic comorbidity, state and duration of admission, motivation and duration of restraints, nursing shift and hospitalization day of restraint, number of patients admitted at the time of restraint and institutional changes during the observation period. The above variables were statistically compared with those of all other non-restrained patients admitted to our ward in the same period. Results: Mechanical restraints were primarily used as a safety procedure to manage aggressive behavior of male patients, during the first days of hospitalization and night shifts. Neurocognitive disorders, organic comorbidity, compulsory state and long duration of admission were statistically significantly related to the increase of restraint use (p<.001, multivariate logistic regression). Institutional changes, especially more restricted guidelines concerning restraint application, were statistically significantly related to restraint use reduction (p<.001, chi2 test, multivariate logistic regression). Conclusion: The data obtained highlight that mechanical restraint use was influenced not only by clinical factors, but mainly by staff and policy factors, which have permitted a gradual but significant reduction in the use of this procedure through a multidimensional approach.

Keywords: Acute psychiatric ward, clinical factors, mechanical restraints, organizational factors, reduced application, retrospective analysis..
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