An exploration of the practice of restricting a child's movement in hospital: a factorial survey

Authors

  • Maria Brenner PhD, RCN, RGN,

    Lecturer, Corresponding author
    1. School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
    • Correspondence: Maria Brenner, Lecturer, School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems, Health Sciences Building, Belfield Campus, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland. Telephone: +353 1 7166470.

      E-mail: maria.brenner@ucd.ie

    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jonathan Drennan PhD, Dip Statistics, RGN,

    Professor of Healthcare Research
    1. Centre for Innovation and Leadership in Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Margaret Pearl Treacy PhD, RGN,

    Emeritus Professor of Nursing
    1. School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Gerard M Fealy PhD, RGN

    Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Research & Innovation
    1. School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Aims and objectives

To identify the reported predictors of the practice of restricting a child for a clinical procedure in hospital.

Background

Previous work in this area is dominated by discussion papers and suggestions for addressing the issue of restriction. This is the first study to explore reported predictors of this practice with a view to implementing change based on research findings.

Design

A factorial survey was developed, which incorporated the use of vignettes with various scenarios. The factorial design enabled exploration of the interaction of multiple factors on the practice of restriction.

Methods

One hundred and sixty-six nurses caring for children were each sent 10 vignettes and asked to rate their likelihood to restrict a child based on the vignettes. A total of 105 nurses responded to the survey, representing a response rate of 63%. Hierarchical linear regression was used to identify reported predictors of restriction.

Results

Nurses were more likely to restrict a child if they had prior instruction on safe holding, if there was no play therapist available, if the nurse was a registered general nurse with no other registration qualification, if the child required cannulation or if the child was less than five years of age.

Conclusion

This study identified predictors of restriction from the perspective of practicing nurses; the evidence needs to be used in developing clinical guidelines and in multidisciplinary education.

Relevance to clinical practice

There is a need to move from any presumption of restriction towards more critical consideration of the individual requirements of the child. There is a need to increase the numbers of nurses receiving specialist training on the care of a child in hospital. The importance of a well-resourced play therapy service is supported, and there is a need for multidisciplinary work to explore alternatives to restriction.

Ancillary