Use of patient restraints in four Australian teaching hospitals

C. Whitehead, Paul Finucane, Philip Henschke, F. Nicklason, B Nair

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17 Citations (Scopus)


To examine the patterns of use of patient restraints in Australian hospitals and the level of adherence to accepted guidelines, we undertook a point-prevalence study in four teaching hospitals in three different States. This involved ward inspections and review of case notes. Overall, 51 (12.5%) of the 408 people audited were being restrained with a variety of physical and chemical agents. The rate of restraint use varied from 8.5% to 18.5% between hospitals. Although the overall prevalence of restraint use increased with age, the hospital with the oldest patients used restraints least. At all hospitals, there was scant documentation in the case notes concerning the use of restraints. The prevalence of restraint use varies widely in different hospitals. As this is not explained by the patient profile, it probably reflects different philosophies of care. Documentation of the use of restraints needs to be improved in all the centres studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-136
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Quality in Clinical Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Australian
  • Hospitals
  • Patient restraints


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