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Keywords:

  • physical restraints;
  • theory of reasoned action;
  • attitudes;
  • nursing care;
  • older people;
  • gerontology

Nursing staff members’ intentions to use physical restraints with older people: testing the theory of reasoned action

Aim of the study. To examine nursing staff members’ attitudes, subjective norms, moral obligations and intentions to use physical restraints, using the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA).

Rationale. During the last two decades an extensive body of research has examined nurses’ attitudes as one of the main factors affecting the decision to use or not to use physical restraints with older persons. However, no studies have examined empirically the antecedents to nurses’ intentions to use physical restraints within a theoretically based framework.

Method. A correlational design was used with 303 nursing staff members from an 800-bed elder care hospital in central Israel. Participants completed a questionnaire including questions based on the TRA as well as socio-demographic and professional characteristics.

Results. Regression analyses found attitudes, subjective norms and moral considerations to be significantly associated to intention to use physical restraints with older people. The TRA explained 48% of the variance in nurses’ intentions.

Conclusions. The TRA proved to be a useful framework for examining nurses’ intentions to use physical restraints. Nurses’ attitudes, beliefs and expectations of significant others should be examined before implementing educational programmes regarding the use of physical restraints.