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Factors that enable or hinder the rebuilding of the therapeutic relationship following an episode of physical restraint in acute forensic services
  1. Riitta Askola1,
  2. Tella Lantta1,2
  1. 1Department of Nursing, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
  2. 2Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Riitta Askola, Department of nursing, University of Turku, Turku, FI-20014, Finland; riittaanneli.askola{at}

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Commentary on: Moyles J, Hunter A, Grealish A. Forensic mental health nurses’ experiences of rebuilding the therapeutic relationship after an episode of physical restraint in forensic services in Ireland: A qualitative study. Int J Ment Health Nurs. 2023 May 26. doi: 10.1111/inm.13176. Epub ahead of print.

Implications for practice and research

  • Ensuring routine postrestraint-focused clinical supervision, experiential training for forensic mental health nurses involved in rebuilding therapeutic relationships postphysical restraint, effective debriefing and positive role modelling from senior staff is needed.

  • Studies on models to combine goals of the therapeutic relationship and maintain safety are needed, besides establishing the effectiveness of different methods to facilitate a therapeutic relationship.


Forensic mental health nurses (FMHNs) are expected to manage potentially serious levels of risk while maintaining a proportionate balance between therapeutic care and potentially restrictive security.1 …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.