• aggression;
  • health care;
  • patient restriction;
  • restraint;
  • seclusion

The aim of this study was to determine student nurses' attitudes towards professional containment methods used in psychiatric wards and its relation to their perception of aggression.

We employed a cross-sectional descriptive design to evaluate nurses' attitudes. Participants included 120 student nurses who were enrolled in psychiatric nursing during their fourth (final) year of education. The ‘Attitude to Containment Measures Questionnaire’ and ‘The Perception of Aggression Scale’ were used for assessments.

Student nurses exhibited positive attitudes toward ‘intermittent observation’, ‘Pro re nata Medication’ and ‘Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit’, respectively. The least approved method was ‘net bed’. The data showed a negative correlation between approval of ‘Intra-Muscular Medication’ and ‘mechanical restraint’ with the perception that aggression was dysfunctional/unacceptable. Student nurses who believed that professional containment methods were effective also perceived aggression as less functional/acceptable. These results emphasize the importance of health care perceptions of aggression towards patients and their experience with containment measures.