Components of interventions to reduce restrictive practices with children and young people in institutional settings: the Contrast systematic mapping review

Baker J, Berzins K, Canvin K, Kendal S, Branthonne-Foster S, Wright J, McDougall T, Goldson B, Kellar I, Duxbury J
Record ID 32018002383
Authors' objectives: Incidents in which children or young people experience severe distress or harm or cause distress or harm to others occur frequently in children and young people’s institutional settings. These incidents are often managed using restrictive practices, such as restraint, seclusion, sedation or constant observation; however, these also present significant risks of physical and psychological harm to children and young people as well as staff. Numerous interventions aim to reduce the use of restrictive techniques, but research is hampered by limited attention to specific intervention components. The behavior change technique taxonomy may improve reporting by providing a common language for specifying the content and mechanisms of behaviour change. This study aimed to identify, standardise and report the effectiveness of components of interventions to reduce restrictive practices in children and young people’s institutional settings. To map interventions aimed at reducing restrictive practices in children and young people’s institutional settings internationally, to conduct behaviour change technique analysis of intervention components, to identify process elements, and to explore effectiveness evidence to identify promising behaviour change techniques and compare the results with those found in adult psychiatric inpatient settings in a companion review.
Authors' results and conclusions: There were 121 records, including 76 evaluations. Eighty-two interventions, mostly multicomponent, were identified. Evaluation approaches commonly used a non-randomised design. There were no randomised controlled trials. Behaviour change techniques from 14 out of a possible 16 clusters were detected. Four clusters (i.e. goals and planning, antecedents, shaping knowledge, and feedback and monitoring) contained the majority of identified behaviour change techniques and were detected in over half of all interventions. Two clusters (i.e. self-belief and covert learning) contained no identified behaviour change techniques. The most common setting in which behaviour change techniques were found was ‘mental health’. The most common procedure focused on staff training. The two most common behaviour change techniques were instruction on how to perform the behaviour and restructuring the social environment. Promising behaviour change techniques included instruction on how to perform the behaviour, restructuring the social environment, feedback on outcomes of behaviour and problem-solving. Compared with the companion review, service user perspectives were more sparse and there was more interest in trauma-informed approaches. Effectiveness evidence, range of interventions and reporting were broadly similar. This study generated, to our knowledge, the first review of evidence on the content and effectiveness of interventions to reduce restrictive practices in children and young people’s institutional settings. Interventions tend to be complex, reporting is inconsistent and robust evaluation data are limited, but some behaviour change techniques seem promising.
Authors' methods: Systematic mapping review with programme content coding using the behavior change technique taxonomy. Eleven relevant English-language health and social care research databases 1989–2019 [including Applied Social Sciences Index (ASSIA), Criminal Justice Abstracts, Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC), MEDLINE and PsycInfo®], grey literature and social media were searched during 2019 (updated January 2020). Data extraction, guided by Workgroup for Intervention Development and Evaluation Research (WIDER), Cochrane Library and theory coding scheme recommendations, included intervention characteristics and study design and reporting. Screening and quality appraisal used the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. The behavior change technique taxonomy was applied systematically, and interventions were coded for behaviour change technique components. Outcomes data were then related back to these components. Poor reporting may have prevented detection of some behaviour change techniques. The finding that the evidence was weak restricted the feasibility of examining behaviour change technique effectiveness. Literature searches were restricted to English-language sources.
Authors' identified further reserach: Promising behaviour change techniques could be further explored. Better evidence could help address the urgent need for effective strategies.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2022
URL for additional information: English
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Full HTA
Country: England, United Kingdom
MeSH Terms
  • Restraint, Physical
  • Immobilization
  • Behavior Control
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Child Behavior Disorders
  • Patient Isolation
  • Dangerous Behavior
  • Problem Behavior
  • Child
  • Adolescent
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Institutionalization
Organisation Name: NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research programme
Contact Address: NIHR Journals Library, National Institute for Health and Care Research, Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Alpha House, University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton SO16 7NS, UK
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Copyright: Baker et al.
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.