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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


ESTEVEZ-GUERRA, Gabriel J; FARINA-LOPEZ, Emilio  and  PENELO, Eva. Medical prescription and informed consent for the use of physical restraints in nursing homes in the Canary Islands (Spain). Gac Sanit [online]. 2018, vol.32, n.1, pp.77-80.  Epub Nov 30, 2020. ISSN 0213-9111.


To identify the frequency of completion of informed consent and medical prescription in the clinical records of older patients subject to physical restraint, and to analyse the association between patient characteristics and the absence of such documentation.


A cross-sectional and descriptive multicentre study with direct observation and review of clinical records was conducted in nine public nursing homes, comprising 1,058 beds.


274 residents were physically restrained. Informed consent was not included in 82.5% of cases and was incomplete in a further 13.9%. There was no medical prescription in 68.3% of cases and it was incomplete in a further 12.0%. The only statistical association found was between the lack of prescription and the patients' advanced age (PR = 1.03; p <0.005).


Failure to produce this documentation contravenes the law. Organisational characteristics, ignorance of the legal requirements or the fact that some professionals may consider physical restraint to be a risk-free procedure may explain these results.

Keywords : Aged; Physical restraint; Informed consent; Prescriptions; Nursing homes.

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