This study identifies resident characteristics related to nursing staff failure to provide consistent release from physical restraints as required by regulation. The lengths of intervals during which residents were restrained were measured and correlated with the staff's perception of degree of care burden and resident behavioral characteristics in order to identify risk factors related to the absence of consistent release. Staff perceptions of residents' verbal aggressiveness (multiple R = − .30, p < .01), physical aggressiveness (multiple R = − .25, p < .03) and unpleasantness (multiple R = − .25, p < .03) are the three characteristics most predictive of the length of time residents continuously remain restrained.

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