Study: California Nursing Homes Use Restraints Most Frequently
In 2006, California nursing homes used the physical restraints on residents more frequently than facilities in all other states, according to a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the AP/Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
About 5.9% of nursing home patients nationwide were restrained for medical reasons in 2006, compared with 13.4% of California nursing home patients.
Changes to federal law in 1987 made it illegal for nursing homes to use restraints, such as bed rails or wheelchair belts, to discipline residents or because of convenience, according to Mary Jean Koren, assistant vice president at the Commonwealth Fund.
The use of restraints on long-term nursing home patients declined by almost 40% between 2002 and 2006 as states and nursing homes began to eliminate the practice (Freking, AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/27).