OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the use of restraints in a large psychiatric hospital in Rio de Janeiro city, Brazil. METHODS:A survey was carried on in August 2009. Data on sex, age, diagnostic, use and duration of restraints were collected from patients' notes. RESULT: Sample consisted on 66 patients, 59% women, with mean age of 44 years. During the study 24% of the patients were restrained at least once, but registering details of the procedure was not usual. There were no important adverse events. No associations were observed between restraints and sociodemographic and clinic variables. CONCLUSIONS: The use of restraints is a consistent practice in Rio de Janeiro's psychiatric hospitals: the same proportion was observed in three hospitals in distinct periods, 2001 and 2004, and this finding is in an intermediate position in relation to other studies results. There are no randomized trials to properly evaluate the benefits and risks of this practice, but the efficacy and safety of this intervention should be subject to the same scientific scrutiny as other treatments.
Psychiatric hospital; cross-seccional study; physical restraint; aggression