Professionals’ Attitudes Toward Reducing Restraint:
The Case of Seclusion in The Netherlands
Marjan van Doeselaar Æ Peter Sleegers Æ Giel Hutschemaekers
Published online: 3 January 2008
Ó Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007
Despite public opinion and policy interventions, restraint remains a com-
mon practice. This is also the case in the Netherlands, where projects aimed to reduce
seclusion, have not lead to a decreased use of restraint. Is this lack of effectiveness related
to attitudes of the professionals? The aim of this study was to explore the attitudes of
professionals working in mental health care toward restraint.
A questionnaire with eight scales was constructed for measuring attitudes of
professionals. Scores of 540 professionals were studied, using analysis of variance and
cluster analysis and related to several personnel and organizational characteristics.
The more professionals were personally involved in seclusion, the more they
believed in it. Three types of professionals were identiﬁed: Transformers, Doubters and
Maintainers. More than half of the psychiatrists (56%) belonged to the type of maintainers.
Nurses were more divided.
Professionals working in clinical settings are not really opposed to restraint.
This could explain the limited effects of innovation projects.
Keywords Restraint Á Seclusion Á Attitudes Á Psychiatrists Á Nurses
M. van Doeselaar Á G. Hutschemaekers
Gelderse Roos Research Institute for Professionalization, Wolfheze, The Netherlands
M. van Doeselaar (&)
PO Box 27, Renkum 6870 AA, The Netherlands
Department of Education, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Department of Clinical Psychology, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Psychiatr Q (2008) 79:97–109