Restraint and Seclusion: The Perspective of Service Users and Staff Members

Authors

  • Julie Mérineau-Côté,

    Corresponding author
    1. Département de psychologie, Chaire de Déficience intellectuelle et troubles du comportement, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada
    • Correspondence

      Any correspondence should be directed to Julie Mérineau-Côté, Département de psychologie, Chaire de Déficience intellectuelle et troubles du comportement, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, QC H3C 3P8, Canada (e-mail: julie.merineau@gmail.com).

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  • Diane Morin

    1. Département de psychologie, Chaire de Déficience intellectuelle et troubles du comportement, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada
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Abstract

Background

Restrictive measures may have important physical and psychological consequences on all persons involved. The current study examined how these are perceived by persons with intellectual disabilities and staff.

Materials and Methods

Interviews were conducted with eight persons with intellectual disabilities who experienced a restrictive measure and their care providers. They were queried on their understanding of the restrictive measure, its impact on the relationship, their emotions and alternative interventions.

Results

Restrictive measures were experienced negatively by persons with intellectual disabilities and their care providers. Service users reported feeling sad and angry, whereas staff mentioned feeling anxious. Moreover, persons with intellectual disabilities appeared to understand the goal of restrictive measures (e.g. ensuring their own and others' safety) and identified alternative interventions (e.g. speaking with a staff member or taking a walk).

Conclusion

This study sheds further light on how persons with intellectual disabilities and staff experience the application of restrictive measures. Debriefing sessions with service users and staff may help minimize negative consequences.

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