Read about injury and illness prevention research funded by the WCB’s Research and Workplace Innovation Program (RWIP).

Enhancing Seclusion and Restraint-Free Mental Health Services

The seclusion and restraint of patients in locked rooms has historically been used to control the behaviour of mental health patients who present with aggression. Seclusion and restraint controls behaviour by restricting a patient’s mobility, but this method of control often results in physical and psychological risks to patient and staff. Studies show that seclusion and restraint has limited therapeutic value and that mental health nurses are four times more likely to be assaulted by patients than those in any other nursing discipline.

The Six Core Strategies for Reducing Seclusion and Restraint Use (SCS) program was initially implemented in the Health Sciences Centre (HSC), PY3S unit in 2011. The project achieved outstanding results as the episodes and duration of seclusion and restraint decreased dramatically as the project unfolded. Read the report on the pilot project.

In this project, the SCS program was implemented in five other units at the HSC, as well as at Grace General Hospital, St. Boniface Hospital, Seven Oaks General Hospital and Victoria General Hospital.  The results in all new sites were outstanding. Episodes of seclusion and restraint decreased by 42 per cent, duration of seclusion and restraint declined by 45 per cent and the number of work days lost due to injury decreased by 55 per cent at the completion of the project when compared to project start. The evidence shows that the SCS program is an effective injury prevention strategy as seen by the significant outcome improvements in all participating healthcare sites.