Date of Submission

Spring 1-7-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Trinette Radasa

Second Advisor

Alexa Curtis


Background: This paper reviews the literature on ways to decrease the use of restraints in hospitals – specifically the use of agitation assessments and verbal de-escalation to be implemented in healthcare facilities to decrease the number of restraints being used to manage undesirable patient behavior and workplace violence incidents. Problem: Restraints have been shown to impede the nurse-patient relationship and cause emotional and physical trauma to staff and patients. They are no longer considered preferred management and in some circumstances can be considered abuse. Intervention: Agitation assessments and verbal de-escalation have been shown to produce less aggressive behavior and decrease the time patients spend in restraints. By having a way in which agitation levels can be measured, the provider can intervene with the least invasive methods (i.e. verbal de-escalation) before the situation devolves into one needing more invasive (i.e. restraints) interventions. Conclusions: By implementing the use of agitation assessments and verbal de-escalation strategies, the literature has shown that restraint use can be decreased, and time spent in restraints can be decreased.