Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 79, Issue 2, pp 97–109

Professionals’ Attitudes Toward Reducing Restraint: The Case of Seclusion in The Netherlands

  • Marjan van Doeselaar
  • Peter Sleegers
  • Giel Hutschemaekers
Original Research

DOI: 10.1007/s11126-007-9063-x

Cite this article as:
van Doeselaar, M., Sleegers, P. & Hutschemaekers, G. Psychiatr Q (2008) 79: 97. doi:10.1007/s11126-007-9063-x



Despite public opinion and policy interventions, restraint remains a common 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.


Restraint Seclusion Attitudes Psychiatrists Nurses 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marjan van Doeselaar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peter Sleegers
    • 3
  • Giel Hutschemaekers
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Gelderse Roos Research Institute for ProfessionalizationWolfhezeThe Netherlands
  2. 2. RenkumThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of EducationUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of Clinical Psychology Radboud UniversityNijmegenThe Netherlands