Listening to the Patient Perspective: Psychiatric Inpatients’ Attitudes Towards Physical Restraint

Yaniv Spinzy*, Saed Maree, Aviv Segev, Gadi Cohen-Rappaport

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When other options fail, physical restraint is used in inpatient psychiatric units as a means to control violent behavior of agitated inpatients and to prevent them from harm. The professional and social discourse regarding the use of restrictive measures and the absence of the inpatients’ attitudes towards these measures is notable. Our research therefore tries to fill this gap by interviewing inpatients about these issues. To assess the subjective experience and attitudes of inpatients who have undergone physical restraint. Forty inpatients diagnosed with psychiatric disorders were interviewed by way of a structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were conducted via use of SPSS statistical software. 1.Inpatients reported that physical restraint evoked an experience of loneliness (77.5%) and loss of autonomy (82.5%). 2.Staff visits during times of physical restraint were reported as beneficial according to 73.6% of the inpatients interviewed. 3.Two thirds of the inpatients viewed the use of physical restraints as justified when an inpatient was dangerous. 4.Two thirds of the inpatients regarded physical restraint as the most aversive experience of their hospitalization. Our pilot study explored the subjective experience and attitudes of psychiatric inpatients towards the use of physical restraint. Inpatients viewed physical restraint as a practice that was sometimes justified but at the same time evoked negative subjective feelings. We conclude that listening to inpatients’ perspectives can help caregivers to evaluate these measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-696
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatric Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018


  • Closed door unit
  • Patient perspective
  • Physical restraint
  • Psychosis


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