Nurses’ perceptions of risks for occupational hazards in patient seclusion and restraint practices in psychiatric inpatient care: A focus group study [2020]

Seclusion and restraint are regularly used to manage patient aggression events in psychiatric inpatient care, despite occupational safety concerns. There is currently a lack of information on how nurses perceive the use of patient seclusion and restraint as a risk for occupational safety. The aim of this study is to describe the risks for occupational hazards in patient seclusion and mechanical restraint practices as well as ideas for improvement identified by nurses. A qualitative descriptive design was adopted, using focus groups comprising nurses (N = 32) working in psychiatric inpatient care. The data were analysed using inductive content analysis, and the results were reported using the consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative studies (COREQ). Four themes of risk for occupational hazards were identified: patient‐induced, staff‐induced, organization‐induced, and environment‐induced risks. One significant finding was that nurses described that their actions can strongly contribute to occupational hazards during seclusion and mechanical restraint practices. The nurses gave various ideas for how occupational safety could be improved during seclusion and mechanical restraint events, ideas involving staff, the organization, and environmental enhancements.

Jaakko Varpula RN, MNSc Maritta Välimäki RN, PhD Tella Lantta RN, PhD Johanna Berg RN, PhD Mari Lahti RN, PhD
International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, Volume 29, Issue 4, August 2020