Preventing belt restraint use in newly admitted residents in nursing homes: A quasi-experimental study

Math J. M. Gulpers*, Michel H. C. Bleijlevens, Elizabeth Capezuti, Erik van Rossum, Ton Ambergen, Jan P. H. Hamers

*Corresponding author for this work

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20 Citations (Web of Science)


Background: Physical restraints are commonly used in psychogeriatric nursing home residents despite reports of negative consequences. Most research has focused on restraint reduction without addressing methods to prevent initiation of restraints in nursing homes. EXBELT has been found to decrease belt restraint use but should also be evaluated for its use in preventing restraints. Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of the EXBELT intervention to prevent the use of belt restraints on psychogeriatric residents newly admitted to nursing homes. Design: Quasi-experimental study design. Setting: Twenty-six nursing home wards from thirteen Dutch nursing homes. Participants: Newly admitted residents (n = 104) during a four month period. Interventions: Fifteen wards (intervention group) implemented the EXBELT intervention, which consisted of four components: a policy change, education, consultation and the availability of alternative interventions. Methods: Data on the use of belt restraints, other types of physical restraints, falls and fall-related injuries and psychoactive drug use were collected at T2 (4 months) and T3 (8 months) after baseline (T1) for those resident who were newly admitted after baseline and before T2 (4 months). Physical restraint use data were collected by a trained, blinded observer four times during a 24-h period. Results: A total of 104 residents were newly admitted after baseline (T1) and before T2. Of those, 82 were present on T2 and T3. Informed consent was obtained from legal representatives of 49 out of the 82 residents. In the control group (n = 20), 15% and 20% used belts at T2 (4 months) and T3 (8 months), respectively. In the intervention group (n = 29), these proportions were 3% and 0%, respectively (OR = 0.08; 95% Cl (0.01-0.76); p = 0.03). There was no increase in the intervention group in the use of other physical restraints, falls and fall-related injuries or psychoactive drug use. Conclusion: The EXBELT intervention effectively seems to prevent the use of belt restraints in newly admitted residents in psychogeriatric nursing homes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1473-1479
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • Belt restraint
  • Multi-component intervention
  • Newly admitted residents
  • Nursing home
  • Prevention
  • Quasi-experimental design

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