What is it about?

Reducing and eliminating the use of restrictive practices, such as seclusion and restraint, is a national priority for Australia’s mental health services. Whilst legislation, organization and practice changes have all contributed to a reduction in these practices, forensic mental health services continue to report high rates.

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Why is it important?

Forensic mental health care is complex, highly specialized, and often delivered in an unpredictable environment. Whilst high rates of restrictive practices may be linked to the unique characteristics of forensic patients, training, teamwork, and leadership are critical factors influencing their use in this setting.


Nurses working in this area need to be educated and supported to work confidently and safely with this high-risk patient cohort.

Lesley Barr
Curtin University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Promoting positive and safe care in forensic mental health inpatient settings: Evaluating critical factors that assist nurses to reduce the use of restrictive practices, International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, March 2019, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/inm.12588.
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