The attributes of successful de‐escalation and restraint teams [2018]

Inpatient violence is a widespread problem on psychiatric wards often with serious consequences, and psychiatric hospitals have set up teams to de‐escalate and restrain patients with aggression (D‐E&R teams) which are specially trained to respond to it in a safe manner. Successful de‐escalation and restraining of patients with aggression depend not only on the methods learned in training but also on the confidence of the team. Therefore, it is of great importance to understand the factors that enhance D‐E&R teams’ competence in managing patients with aggression in a successful and safe manner. The aim of this hermeneutic study was to identify and understand those factors. Purposive‐expert sampling was used and twelve D‐E&R team members with significant experience participated in the study. The central theme found was a safe team. Ensuring the safety of the team and its members was found to be a prerequisite for successful teamwork in managing patients with aggression in a safe manner. This central theme falls into two interacting domains: the internal dynamics of the team and the team’s interaction with patients. Several themes, such as mutual trust, flexibility, and knowing one’s role, influence these domains and hence strengthen or weaken the confidence and safety of the team. The findings of the study will contribute to a better understanding of these factors; understanding which could be used to improve the training, supervision, and quality assessment of D‐E&R teams and hence lead to more safety in psychiatric wards.

Jón Snorrason MS Páll Biering PhD

International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 04 June 2018