1. Dunbar, Joan M. MBA, MSW
  2. Neufeld, Richard R. MD
  3. Libow, Leslie S. MD
  4. Cohen, Camille E. MA, RN
  5. Foley, William J. PhD


The leadership and commitment of nursing administrators play a pivotal role in minimizing the use of restraints and maintaining a restraint-free environment. This article describes the role of nursing administrators in reducing the use of physical restraints as part of a 2-year, national nursing home restraint-reduction project. It reviews important information about restraint-free care, the benefits of restraint-free care, and strategies to reduce the use of restraints in nursing homes, much of which is applicable to settings other than nursing homes.


"They'll fall and hurt themselves if we don't restrain them."


"We'll get sued if they're not restrained and hurt themselves."


"It'll cost too much."


"You don't understand how difficult our families are."


- Nursing home administrators talking about why they have high rates of restraint use.