Outcomes of nighttime physical restraint removal for severely impaired nursing home residents

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There is ample evidence that physical restraint reduction does not lead to increased falls or injuries. This study tests the effect of removing nighttime restraints by comparing two groups: Restrained in bed at pre- but not postintervention (n = 51), or restrained in bed at both pre- and post-intervention (n = 11). No differences in nighttime fall rates between the two groups were detected.

Nighttime physical restraint removal does not lead to increases in falls from bed in older nursing home residents. Although markedly reduced in nursing homes, restraint use remains a common practice among hospitalized older adults. We should continue to focus efforts on developing new, individualized approaches to reduce risk of falling from bed among frail elders.

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