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AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000441782.86548.ab
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NewsCap: Nurses are still using physical restraints to ensure safety in elder care

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Nurses are still using physical restraints to ensure safety in elder care. Despite the proven negative consequences of physical restraint use, many nurses still believe restraints are necessary in some instances to ensure patient safety—particularly to prevent falls—and often decide in favor of using them when caring for the elderly, according to a report published online October 12 in the International Journal of Nursing Studies. The authors conducted a systematic review that identified 31 studies, published in English or German between 1991 and 2013, regarding nurses’ attitudes toward the use of physical restraints. Qualitative studies showed that nurses generally didn't question the use of restraints, although when they did feel a need to use them, they were conflicted about doing so. And nurses didn't actively avoid using restraints or seek alternatives. Findings of quantitative studies of nurses’ feelings regarding restraint use were inconsistent. The results suggest that nurses’ attitudes regarding the use of restraints haven't changed much over the past 20 years, and the authors recommend strict policy changes to ensure a restraint-free environment and stronger interventions to reduce clinicians’ ability to use restraints.

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