September 10, 2001
Capezuti will have no restraints
Bed siderails and restraints were never designed to assist patientsthey
were meant to impede people, according to Elizabeth Capezuti from the
School of Nursing. Capezuti, an internationally known research scholar
in gerontological nursing, focuses on developing non-restraint interventions
to enhance patient mobility and dignity.
The Independence Foundation-Wesley Woods Chair in Gerontologic Nursing,
Capezuti will discuss From Restraints to Lifting Weights: Preventing
Falls and Injuries Among Older Adults as part of this years
Great Teachers Lecture Series at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 13, in the Miller-Ward
Capezuti will discuss the transformation from control-based strategies,
such as physical restraints and siderails, to individualized care approaches,
including exercise. She believes that examining the social, economic,
empirical, regulatory and legal influences on the shifting focus of bedside
care from patient comfort to patient safety will lead to new directions
for research and exemplary clinical practice.
Through her research over the past 20 years, Capezuti has discovered
that siderails do not prevent falls and can even lead to entrapment injuries.
But administrators, nurses and physicians remain concerned with the legal
implications of changing their usual practice. Hospitals know that using
bed siderails reduces their insurance claims and protects them from liability.
Capezuti has managed several research projects aimed at improving the
quality of nursing home and hospital care of older adults. She is currently
testing the effect of individualized interventions and new devices in
preventing bed-related falls with funding from several private foundations
and the National Institutes of Health.
Before joining the nursing faculty in 2000, Capezuti held a variety of
clinical, teaching and research positions at the University of Pennsylvania
School of Nursing. She has published extensively in the areas of fall
prevention, restraint and siderail elimination, elder mistreatment and
legal liability issues.
At Emory, Capezuti directs the gerontologic nurse-practitioner program
and teaches in the undergraduate and doctoral programs. She is an active
member of the research activities at the Wesley Woods, where she serves
as associate director for nursing science for the Emory Center for Health
The Great Teachers Lecture is free, open to the public and does not require