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Systematic review
Review: nurses predominantly have negative feelings towards the use of physical restraints in geriatric care, though some still perceive a need in clinical practice
  1. Jan P H Hamers
  1. Department of Health Services Research, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to: Professor Jan PH Hamers, Department of Health Services Research, Maastricht University, PO Box 616, Maastricht 6200 MD, The Netherlands; jph.hamers{at}

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Implications for practice and research

  • To guarantee the safety of residents or patients is the most important justification for physical restraint use, despite the lack of evidence for benefit and safety.

  • Nurses’ attitudes were shown to be nearly unchanged over time, while educational interventions seem to be ineffective in reducing restraint use in clinical practice.

  • Research on the influence of nurses’ attitudes on the implementation of research evidence in clinical practice is warranted.


Physical restraints (eg, belts, full enclosed bedrails) are still commonly used in the care of older people. However, there is a large variation in restraint use that cannot …

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  • Competing interests None.