Re-building Trust after Physical Restraint During Involuntary Psychiatric Hospitalization

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Abstract

This study attempted to identify the elements which might best minimize the negative consequences of restriction of inpatients and rebuild therapeutic alliance and trust. Through in depth interviews with 15 psychiatric patients who had experience restrained during the last involuntary psychiatric hospitalization. Analysis of the data revealed three major themes with regard to trust between restrained patient and restraining staff members during restriction of the patient's freedom. Duration of Restriction, Contact with a Staff Member while Restrained, Supportive Interactions and Staff's Response to Restricted Patients' Needs were reported by patients as crucial in determining the way restrained is experienced and its later impact. Physical restraint in psychiatric hospitalizations generates many negative feelings and can even be traumatic. The patients interviewed help us learn how to provide more human and therapeutic interactions even in extreme situations of restrain which can be crucial to rebuild therapeutic alliance and trust.

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