Find Events Find People Find Jobs Find Sites Find Help Index


September 10, 2001

Nursing's Capezuti will have no restraints

By Tia Webster


Bed siderails and restraints were never designed to assist patients—they 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 year’s Great Teachers Lecture Series at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 13, in the Miller-Ward Alumni House.

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.
In recognition of her work, Capezuti was designated the 1997 Virginia Stone Scholar by the American Nurses Foundation and the 1998 Hartford Institute Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Geriatric Nursing Research. In 1999 she was inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and last was the recipient of the Otsuka/American Geriatrics Society Outstanding Scientific Achievement for Clinical Investigation Award.

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 in Aging.

The Great Teachers Lecture is free, open to the public and does not require reservations. Call
404-727-5686 for further information.


Back to Emory Report September 10, 2001