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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Comparison of restraint practices for persons with dementia residing in and outside special care units in British Columbia McConnell-Barker, Michelle


The excessive use of chemical and physical restraints in intermediate care facilities has been a subject of study since the early eighties, and has produced several explanations for why restraint use continues to be practiced. One of the primary reasons often cited is that restraints are used to control "problematic behavior" commonly exhibited by a person suffering from dementia. The focus of the proposed project is to analyze whether restraint practices for residents with moderate to severe dementia differ between Special Care Units and integrated units within long term care facilities. The main objective of the study is to demonstrate whether seniors with dementia residing in Special Care Units will be less likely to encounter physical and chemical restraints than demented residents living within an integrated facility. This objective explores the assumption that Special Care Units were designed to meet the needs of residents with dementia, and therefore, care providers should be more accepting of deviant behaviours. The findings revealed that the more severe the level of memory impairment the more likely a resident would be placed in a Special Care Unit. Once located in these Special Care Units, residents were more likely to experience physical and chemical restraints than their counterparts in integrated care units.

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