In Western society, policy and legislation seeks to minimize restrictive interventions, including physical restraint; yet research suggests the use of such practices continues to raise concerns. Whilst international agreement has sought to define physical restraint, diversity in the way in which countries use restraint remains disparate. Research to date has reported on statistics regarding restraint, how and why it is used, and staff and service user perspectives about its use. However, there is limited evidence directly exploring the physical and psychological harm restraint may cause to people being cared for within mental health inpatient settings. This study reports on an integrative review of the literature exploring available evidence regarding the physical and psychological impact of restraint. The review included both experimental and nonexperimental research papers, using Cooper's (1998) five-stage approach to synthesize the findings. Eight themes emerged: Trauma/retraumatization; Distress; Fear; Feeling ignored; Control; Power; Calm; and Dehumanizing conditions. In conclusion, whilst further research is required regarding the physical and psychological implications of physical restraint in mental health settings, mental health nurses are in a prime position to use their skills and knowledge to address the issues identified to eradicate the use of restraint and better meet the needs of those experiencing mental illness.
A qualitative study of staff and service users' views of recovery was undertaken in a UK high secure hospital working to implement recovery practices. 30 staff and 25 service users participated in semi-structured interviews or focus groups. Thematic analysis identified four broad accounts of how recovery was made sense of in the high secure environment: the importance of meaningful occupation; valuing relationships; recovery journeys and dialogue with the past; and recovery as personal responsibility. These themes are discussed with an emphasis on service user strategies of cooperation or resistance, respectively advancing or impeding progress through the system. In this context the notion of cooperation is, for many, commensurate with compliance with a dominant medical model. The policy framing of recovery opens up contemplation of treatment alternatives, more participatory approaches to risk management, and emphasise the value of relational skills, but may not elude the overarching bio-psychiatric episteme.
Using football metaphor to deliver a group therapeutic programme aimed at men appears to be an effective means of facilitating mental health benefits.
Accessible summary What is known on the subject? Mental health nursing in the UK and other countries faces an acute workforce crisis. Safe staffing levels are called for, and in some jurisdictions have been legislated for. The evidence base linking staffing levels and patient outcomes is limited. Staffing levels are implicated in adverse experiences of service users and staff within mental health ward settings, and they might contribute to levels of violence and aggression and the application of restrictive practices, such as physical restraint but there is limited research evidence to support this. Programmes such as Safewards, No Force First, the Engagement Model and the Six Core Strategies can reduce the use of restrictive practices. What does this paper add to existing knowledge? Staffing levels on acute mental health wards appeared crucial in the implementation of a restraint minimization project. Both staff and service users implicate insufficient staffing for deficiencies in the relational elements of care, such as lack of face‐to‐face contact between nurses and service users. Similarly, staffing levels are associated with perceived problems in the cause of violence and aggression and responses to it. Despite successes in minimizing restrictive practices in this project, difficulties implementing alternative forms of practice that would reduce use of physical restraint, such as de‐escalation, were also attributed to staffing levels. There is an irony that a project concerned with safety itself provoked concern over safe staffing levels. What are the implications for practice? Efforts to reduce restrictive practices will be hampered without adequate staffing levels. Restrictive practices may justifyably be framed as an employment relations matter. Organisations and policy makers ought to address environmental, contextual and resourcing factors, rather than identify problems exclusively in terms of perceived aberrant behaviour of staff or service users. Abstract IntroductionSafe staffing and coercive practices are of pressing concern for mental health services. These are inter‐dependent, and the relationship is under‐researched. AimTo explore views on staffing levels in a context of attempting to minimize physical restraint practices on mental health wards. Findings emerged from a wider data set with the broader aim of exploring experiences of a restraint reduction initiative. MethodsThematic analysis of semi‐structured interviews with staff (n = 130) and service users (n = 32). ResultsFive themes were identified regarding how staffing levels impact experiences and complicate efforts to minimize physical restraint. We titled the themes—“insufficient staff to do the job”; “detriment to staff and service users”; “a paperwork exercise: the burden of non‐clinical tasks”; “false economies”; and, “you can't do these interventions.” DiscussionTendencies detracting from relational aspects of care are not independent of insufficiencies in staffing. The relational, communicative and organizational developm...
Coercive practices, such as physical restraint, are used globally to respond to violent, aggressive and other behaviours displayed by mental health service users.1 A number of approaches have been designed to aid staff working within services to minimise the use of restraint and other restrictive practices. One such approach, the ‘REsTRAIN Yourself’ (RYS) initiative, has been evaluated in the UK. Rapid ethnography was used to explore the aspects of organisational culture and staff behaviour exhibited by teams of staff working within 14 acute admission mental health wards in the North West region of the English NHS. Findings comprise four core themes of space and place; legitimation; meaningful activity; and, therapeutic engagement that represent characteristics of daily life on the wards before and after implementation of the RYS intervention. Tensions between staff commitments to therapeutic relations and constraining factors were revealed in demarcations of ward space and limitations on availability of meaningful activities. The physical, relational and discursive means by which ward spaces are segregated prompts attention to the observed materialities of routine care. Legitimation was identified as a crucial discursive practice in the context of staff reliance upon coercion. Trauma‐informed care represents a potentially alternative legitimacy.
Nurse Staffing Levels Revisited: A consideration of key issues in nurse staffing levels and skill mix research. Abstract AimsThis paper revisits the published evidence relating to how nurse staffing levels impact on service outcomes and considers the implications of this body of research for nurse managers in their quest to determine optimum nursing establishments.
• Inadequate understanding of entitlement to advocacy by professionals, who have a duty to promote access, has been implicated in limited uptake of IMHA.• Gaps in mental health advocacy provision for those with specific needs reflect inadequate commissioning and models of advocacy provision. What this paper adds• A rigorous in-depth evaluation of multiple perspectives on the provision and experience of statutory mental health advocacy.• Identification of three factors influencing the quality of IMHA services: effectiveness of commissioning, provision of IMHA services, and understanding and disposition of mental health services to advocacy.• IMHAs can enhance personal agency in situations where freedoms and control are constrained. AbstractAdvocacy serves to promote the voice of service users, represent their interests and enable participation in decision-making. Given the context of increasing numbers of people detained under the Mental Health Act and heightened awareness of the potential for neglect and abuse in human services, statutory advocacy is an important safeguard supporting human rights and democratising the social relationships of care. This article reports findings from a national review of Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) provision in England. A qualitative study used a two-stage design to define quality and assess the experience and impact of IMHA provision in eight study sites. A sample of 289 participants -75 focus group participants and 214 individuals interviewed -including 90 people eligible for IMHA services, as well as advocates, a range of hospital and community-based mental health professionals, and commissioners. The research team included people with experience of compulsion. Findings indicate that the experience of compulsion can be profoundly disempowering, confirming the need for IMHA. However, access was highly variable and more problematic for people with specific needs relating to ethnicity, age and disability. Uptake of IMHA services was influenced by available resources, attitude and understanding of mental health professionals, as well as the organisation of IMHA provision. Access could be improved through a system of opt-out as opposed to opt-in. Service user satisfaction was most frequently reported in terms of positive experiences of the process of advocacy rather than tangible impacts on care and treatment under the Mental Health Act. IMHA services have the potential to significantly shift the dynamic so that service users have more of a voice in their care and treatment. However, a shift is needed from a narrow conception of statutory advocacy as safeguarding rights to one emphasising self-determination and participation in decisions about care and treatment.
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