Restrictive Practices: Chemical Restraint in Australia

13m of CPD
Around the world, including in Australia, older adults are unnecessarily being prescribed antipsychotics in place of behavioural management and proper treatment for underlying conditions. The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety identified a ‘clear overuse’ and ‘significant over-reliance’ of chemical restraint in aged care, stating that older adults urgently need to be protected from these ‘unnecessary’ and ‘potentially harmful’ measures.

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Chemical restraint is the administration of medicine to restrict the movement or decision-making capacity of a person in your care. These medicines, which commonly include psychotropics, anxiolytic/hypnotic agents and antipsychotics, are prescribed for the primary purpose of controlling a person’s behaviour. They are not related to the medical treatment of an illness, condition or disorder.


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What do others think?

662 reviews by Ausmed Learners
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Nicole Douglas
21 Feb 2023
Registered Nurse
was interesting
Triptee Gurung
12 May 2023
A brief overview on the cathartic reality of overuse of psychotropics to manage behavioural problems in ageing population and predominantly on those who are the most vulnerable cohort with neurological disorders. As a clinician we have the duty of care towards these individuals and should take every pharmacological interventions with caution, understanding of the impact of these on individual and only as a last resort.
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caitlin cunningham
31 Jan 2023
Easy to absorb. Very informative. Important reminder for those in aged care.
Deirdre Gillick
06 Feb 2023
Great article very informative
Tracy Powell
17 Apr 2020
Good read , Dementa is a hard area as behaviours can be quite high during the day but more so when sundowning .l agree not all residential residents should be given chemical restraints.. Residential facilities really do need more staff .
Jenny Bolin
03 Feb 2020
This resource was presented in a well thought out, comprehensive manner which enabled the reader to be able to assess the use of these medications.
Peter Chapman
27 Jul 2020
An enlightening piece and illustrates the battle that people in RACFs can never hope to win, unless they have strong family or strong nurses.
Debra Henrys
17 Feb 2023
Registered Nurse
Brief update of the use of Chemical Restraint snd how this needs to be significantly reduced.
Francheska Macabulos
14 Feb 2020
very helpful
Loren Conen
21 Oct 2023
Community Care Worker
excellent resource
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