Experience of patients with restraints in acute care hospitals and the view of their relatives: A qualitative study

Siegrist‐Dreier, Sandra; Thomann, Silvia; Barbezat, Isabelle; Richter, Dirk; Schmitt, Kai-Uwe; Hahn, Sabine (2023). Experience of patients with restraints in acute care hospitals and the view of their relatives: A qualitative study Nursing Open, 10(11), pp. 7224-7232. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1002/nop2.1975

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Aim: To describe the experiences of patients and relatives with any form of restraints in somatic acute care hospitals. Design: Qualitative explorative design. Methods: Qualitative research methods were used. Participants were recruited through clinical nursing specialists in participating departments of a university hospital between June and August 2020. Individual interviews were conducted and analysed using content analysis. Results: Four interviews with patients and five interviews with relatives were conducted with a mean duration of 25 min. The following three topics emerged in the analysis as important: What was perceived as restraints, Assessing the experiences of restraint use on a continuum, and Lack of information about restrictive measures. Patients and relatives defined restraint very broadly and assessed the experiences of restraint on a continuum from positive to negative, with a more critical view from patients. Relatives clearly seemed to approve of the use of restraints in acute care hospitals because it provided them with a sense of security. In general, there seemed to be a lack of information about the use of restraint and its effects on patients and relatives alike. Conclusion: The involvement of patients and relatives in the decision-making process about restraint use seems to be low. Healthcare professionals need to be better educated to be able to pass on adequate information and to involve patients and their relatives adequately in all processes of restraint use. However, when relatives are involved in decision-making as proxies for patients, it is important to consider that patients' and relatives' opinions on restraints may differ. Patient or Public Contribution: Patients and relatives agreed to participate in the study and shared their experiences with us.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


School of Health Professions
School of Health Professions > Nursing
School of Health Professions > Academic-Practice-Partnership Insel Gruppe/BFH
School of Health Professions > Nursing > Innovation in the Field of Quality in the Health Sector


Siegrist‐Dreier, Sandra;
Thomann, Silvia0000-0002-9768-4845;
Barbezat, Isabelle;
Richter, Dirk0000-0002-6215-6110;
Schmitt, Kai-Uwe0000-0003-3439-9323 and
Hahn, Sabine0000-0002-2697-2014


R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine








Kai-Uwe Schmitt

Date Deposited:

30 Aug 2023 15:55

Last Modified:

15 Oct 2023 01:38

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

healthcare professionals, hospitals, nursing, patient experiences, qualitative research, relatives' experiences, restraint





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