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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 97-102

Physical restraint using, autonomy, ethics among psychiatric patients in nursing practice in China

1 Department of Affective Disorder, Affiliated Brain Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China
2 Department of Nursing Administration, The Third People's Hospital of Foshan, Foshan, China

Correspondence Address:
Hong-Tao Cai
36 Mingxin Road, Liwan District, Guangzhou 510370
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jin.jin_29_20

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The application of physical restraint for patients represents ethical dilemmas for psychiatric nurses in terms of maintaining the safety of all (clients and staff) while at the same time curtailing the individual's autonomy. This article aimed to provide a sound knowledge of ethical positions and strategies for psychiatric nurses to address ethical issues of physical restraint according to the ethical principles of autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and ethical theories. Given that nursing workforce was limited and workload among psychiatric nurses was heavy, physical restraint was one of the coercive interventions managing aggressive behavior. In relation to address ethical dilemmas, it was proposed to acquire informed consent of physical restraint from the individuals and provide person-centered care. Effective communication and negotiation with patients could help to strike a balance between patients' autonomy and nurses' accountability when using physical restraint. In addition, guidelines and targeted intervention strategies need to be developed to regulate and reduce the implementation of restraint. Finally, a collaboration among nurses, psychiatrists, and families is essential to protect patients' autonomy concerning physical restraint use.

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