DOI: 10.1111/jan.16015 ISSN: 0309-2402

A comprehensive examination of research instruments utilized for assessing the attitudes of healthcare professionals towards the use of restraints in mental healthcare: A systematic review

Liv Bachmann, Atle Ødegård, Ingunn Pernille Mundal
  • General Nursing



This systematic review aimed to identify, describe and evaluate questionnaires measuring health professionals’ attitudes towards restraints in mental healthcare.


A systematic review was undertaken in accordance with the COSMIN protocol for systematic review and the relevant sections of the 2020 Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta‐Analyses.

Data Sources

OVID Medline, OVID nursing, Psychinfo, Embase and Cinahl were systematically searched from databases inception, with an initial search in December 2021 and updated in April 2022.

Review Methods

The inclusion criteria compromised articles reporting on self‐reported instruments of attitudes or perceptions, development or validation of instruments and the evaluation of one or more measurement properties. Articles using multiple instruments in one study or not published in English were excluded. Two researchers independently extracted the data and appraised the methodological quality using the COSMIN guidelines and standards (consensus‐based standards for the selection of health measurement instrument). A narrative synthesis without meta‐analysis was performed. The systematic review was registered in PROSPERO Protocol ID CRD42022308818.


A total of 23 studies reporting ten instruments were included. The findings revealed a broad variation in the content of the questionnaires, the use of terms/constructs and the context in which the various instruments measure attitudes towards coercive measures. Many studies lacked sufficient details on report of psychometric properties. Finally, the results were not summarized and the evidence not GRADED.


There is a need for updated and adapted instruments with origins in theory and clear joint definitions such that attitudes towards coercive measures can be reliably assessed regarding the validity and reliability of instruments, which will be of importance to facilitate the use of instruments in research and clinical settings.


Reviews addressing surveys, self‐reported attitudes towards restraints in mental healthcare and examination of psychometric properties seem limited. We highlight distinct complexity, psychometric limitations and broad variation in the context and content measuring attitudes towards coercive measures, and their various use of terms/constructs in the existing questionnaires. These findings contribute to further research regarding the development of questionnaires and the need of representing the concept well – carefully denoted by the indicators, likewise the importance of applying questionnaires with properly reported measurement properties in terms of validity and reliability to ensure the use in research and clinical settings.

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