The term ‘physical interventions’ refers to ‘any method of responding to challenging behaviour which involves some degree of direct physical force to limit or restrict movement or mobility’
The authors of this literature review set out to look at the current evidence on the use of restraint as an intervention in managing challenging behaviours in to children with learning disabilities. They also looked at the legal frameworks and ethical considerations underpinning the use of restraint in such children.
They reviewed literature from a search of electronic databases using a combination of keywords. Because of the relatively small number of studies in this area, they also used studies from adult with and cognitively able children to try to come to a view on whether broad principles underpinning the use of restraint interventions could be generalised to their use in children with learning disabilities.
They found evidence suggesting restraint interventions in were widely used to manage challenging behaviours in children with learning disabilities. They outline the risks associated with the use of such interventions and the current absence of evidence based guidance incorporating clinical, ethical, and legal aspects of their use.
The authors suggest that the review finding could constitute guidance for professionals working with children with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour considering using restraint interventions in their clinical practice.
Use of restraint for the management of challenging behaviour in children with intellectual disabilities, Menon K et al in Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, 6 2, 62 – 75