Small number of individuals account for the majority of uses of physical restraint in USA study

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This American study set out to look at the use of physical restraint in services for people with learning disabilities.

The researchers looked at data on the incidence and implementation of physical restraint for 448 adults with learning disabilities in community-based day services and shared supported housing.

They found that physical restraint was used exclusively for what was described as self-harming, aggressive, and environmentally disruptive behaviours.

They found that restraint was used for less than 10% of the sample and that 90% of the occurrences of restraint happened as part of a planned and documented intervention procedure.

They found that a number of individuals accounted for the majority of uses of physical restraint.

Descriptive analysis of physical restraint (protective holding) among community living adults with intellectual disability, Luiselli, J et al., in Journal of Intellectual Disabilities 15, 2,  93-99

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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