Difficult and challenging behaviour by inpatients is a feature of acute psychiatric ward life. Different methods are used to contain these behaviours, and there is international variation in which are approved of or used. Previous research suggests that staff attitudes to patients may affect their willingness to use, or choice of, method. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between approval of containment measures, perception of aggression and attitude to personality disorder. A survey of student psychiatric nurses was conducted, and using three attitudinal questionnaires related to aggression and containment. An association was found between positive attitude to patients and the approval of containment methods that involved nurses being in personal contact with patients. There was evidence that students’ attitudes to patients deteriorated over time. The results highlighted the importance of (and linkage between) staffs’ feelings of anger and fear towards patients, and their preparedness to use containment measure
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