Physical restraint use among hospitalized older adults remains an important issue. Despite evidence indicating that restraints can be harmful and strict regulatory rules restricting the use of restraints, healthcare practitioners continue to utilize physical restraints, often in the name of safety. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions regarding physical restraint use among registered nurses (RNs) and nursing assistants (NAs). The Perceptions of Restraint Use Questionnaire (PRUQ) was used to evaluate nursing staff perceptions. The overall mean score for the PRUQ was 2.8 out of a possible 5, indicating a neutral perception. Both RNs and NAs identified treatment interference as the most important reason for restraining a patient and substituting of restraints for staff as the least important reason. This study revealed an overall less favorable perception of restraints than previous studies. NAs favored physical restraint for fall prevention more than RNs. It was also noted that protection from physical abuse and patient combativeness was the most salient reason cited by the emergency department staff.
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