Doctor of Nursing Practice
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Mechanical restraints, restraints, psychiatry, psychiatric hospitals
Julia McDougal Ronconi
DNP Project Chair
Julia McDougal Ronconi, APRN DNP PMHNP-BC
Background: Evidence suggests that there is extensive use of mechanical restraints in inpatient psychiatric hospitals in the United States. This practice has adverse implications on patients, nurses and mental health professionals, and the overall organization. Reliance on other strategies apart from mechanical restraints is plausible and can increase the quality of treatment. Diverse interventions such as capitalizing on service user-centered crisis resolution tools or plans, relying on debriefings following mechanical restraint experiences, imparting knowledge to staff in de-escalation techniques, improving data sharing and quality reporting, and creating a crisis response team have been suggested.
Purpose: This quality improvement project was designed to explore the effectiveness of education and training in enhancing the knowledge and awareness of healthcare professionals in an inpatient psychiatric hospital in reducing the use of mechanical restraints.
Methods: Fulltime and per diem registered nurses, mental health technicians (MHTs), ARNPs, and the MDs working in two acute psychiatric units in an impatient psychiatric hospital took part in an educational session on risk assessment, critical thinking, and decision-making skills in mechanical restraint use. A pre-test was administered to participants prior to educational sessions to measure their knowledge and awareness of restraint use reduction and a post-test was administered four to six weeks later to evaluate the impact of the intervention provided.
Results: Education and training can significantly improve healthcare professionals’ knowledge and awareness in reducing the use of mechanical restraints. The average pre-test score of 1.81 increased to an average post-test score of 4.47, indicating a substantial improvement in knowledge and awareness.
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