• chemical restraint;
  • developmental disabilities;
  • mental health;
  • physical restraint;
  • secure isolation


This study seeks to identify some of the explanatory factors associated with the use of intrusive measures among children with mental health and developmental disabilities in psychiatric facilities. Intrusive intervention data were collected using an organizational database that was developed internally at a tertiary care facility. The sample was composed of 338 children/youth aged between 6 and 18 years (mean = 12.33, standard deviation = 2.70) admitted within a 2-year period. Logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between chemical restraint, physical restraint and secure isolation, and programme type after controlling for demographic and other relevant client characteristics. The study found that the number of chemical restraints and secure isolations was higher for clients with developmental disabilities than for clients with mental health, whereas the number of physical restraints was lower for clients with developmental disabilities than clients with mental health issues. Demographic variables also predicted specific types of intrusive measures. The results of this study outline the differential factors associated with specific types of intrusive measures to control aggressive and self-harm behaviours. The paper also outlines cultural change initiatives, organizational interventions, and policy implications for best practice services for children/youth in psychiatric facilities to further reduce intrusive measures.