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Int J Ment Health Nurs. 2019 Apr;28(2):468-479. doi: 10.1111/inm.12549. Epub 2018 Oct 19.

Forensic psychiatric patients' perceptions of situations associated with mechanical restraint: A qualitative interview study.

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OPEN, Odense Patient data Explorative Network, Odense University Hospital/Department of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
Research & Development Unit, Department of Psychiatry Middelfart, Region of Southern Denmark, Middelfart, Denmark.
Department of Nursing, UCL University College, Vejle, Denmark.
Health Sciences Research Center, UCL University College, Denmark.
Center for Psychiatric Nursing and Health Research, Institute of Regional Health Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark.
Institute of Nursing & Health Science, University of Greenland, Nuuk, Greenland.
Hope Trust, Roscommon, Ireland.


To reduce the use and duration of mechanical restraint in forensic settings and ensure evidence-based patient care, we need more knowledge about patients' subjective experiences and perceptions. The aim was to investigate forensic psychiatric patients' perceptions of situations associated with the use of mechanical restraint and what they perceive as factors impacting the use and duration of mechanical restraint. Twenty participants were interviewed. Four themes were identified through a thematic analysis: 'overt protest reactions', 'silent protest reactions', 'illness-related behaviour', and 'genuinely calm', which together characterize patients' perceptions of their ways of acting and reacting during mechanical restraint episodes. These themes are linked together in two patterns in the process of mechanical restraint: 'pattern of protest' and 'pattern of illness'. Further research is needed to illuminate the associations between patients' perceptions of being subjected to mechanical restraint and ways of acting and reacting through the process of mechanical restraint.


coercion; forensic psychiatry; interview; physical restraint; qualitative research


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