A regional multicomponent intervention for mechanical restraint reduction in acute psychiatric wards

J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs. 2021 Apr;28(2):197-207. doi: 10.1111/jpm.12669. Epub 2020 Jul 15.


WHAT IS KNOWN ON THE SUBJECT?: A relevant number of restraint prevention programmes have been developed internationally. In Spain, there is no harmonized policy to prevent the use of restraint. More studies are necessary to establish which programmes and components are necessary to prevent restraint. WHAT DOES THE PAPER ADD TO EXISTING KNOWLEDGE?: There was a significant decreasing trend in the total number of mechanical restraint hours during the implementation of the intervention. There was no significant decreasing trend in the number of mechanical restraint episodes. WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE?: Interventions at a regional level aimed at preventing mechanical restraint are feasible in the Spanish context. All components of the Six Core Strategies could be necessary to prevent episodes of mechanical restraint. ABSTRACT: Introduction Mechanical restraint (MR) is used in many countries, including Spain, where non-harmonized policies between autonomous communities exist. There is a lack of research about interventions at regional levels to reduce their use. Aim To analyse data on key outcomes during the implementation of a multicomponent intervention in Andalusia (Spain) to reduce the use of MR. Method Episodes in a period of 30 months in all wards (N = 20) were analysed. The intervention consisted of five strategies: (a) leadership, (b) analysis of the situation, (c) awareness training for the heads of the wards, (d) unified record of MR and (e) staff training. We analysed the monthly trend of restraint hours and restraint episodes/1,000 bed days using segmented regression. Results There were 206.32 restraint hours and 12.96 restraint episodes/1,000 bed days during the study period. A significant decreasing trend was observed in restraint hours (-1.79%, p < .001), but not in the number of restraint episodes (-0.45%; p = .149). Discussion The results coincide with other international studies; however, studies with better designs are required to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. Implications for Practice Interventions at a regional level aimed at preventing MR are feasible in the Spanish context.

Keywords: acute mental health; coercion; psycho-social intervention; restraint.

MeSH terms

  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Psychiatric Department, Hospital*
  • Restraint, Physical*
  • Spain