There is a high level of violence on psychiatric-hospital wards. It has been estimated that almost half of nursing staff and one in seven patients are subject to physical assaults per year. Physical restraint is recommended only as a method of last resort for dealing with violence but relatively little is known about how often it is used and the circumstances of its use. Researchers from City University in London reviewed 45 studies into physical restraint. They found that, on average, five episodes of manual restraint a month might be expected on a typical 20-bed ward. Episodes lasted around ten minutes with about half involving the restraint of patients on the floor, usually in the prone position. Manually-restrained patients tended to be younger, male and detained under mental-health legislation.
Stewart, D. ... [et al] - Manual restraint of adult psychiatric inpatients: a literature review Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing October 2009, 16(8), 749-757