Providing positive behaviour support to improve a client’s quality of life
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence & Practice Previous    

Providing positive behaviour support to improve a client’s quality of life

Lynne Webber Principal practice leader, Research and service development, Office of Professional Practice, Department of Health and Human Services, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Karen Major Best practice adviser/authorised programme officer, Able Australia, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Carla Condello Key worker, Department of Health and Human Services, North East Melbourne Area, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Kerrie Hancox Principal practice leader, Integrated health care, Office of Professional Practice, Department of Health and Human Sciences, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

This case study describes how residential accommodation and day service staff worked together to provide good quality, positive behaviour support to eliminate the use of mechanical restraint for a 38-year-old man, James – his name has been changed to protect his identity. James has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and other disabilities, and has self-harmed from the age of two, hitting the left side of his head and face. To stop the self-harm, mechanical restraints, in the form of splints and a helmet, were used. When James began to self-harm using the mechanical restraints his carers decided to investigate the possible causes of the self-harm. They found he had several underlying medical problems that caused pain and distress, therefore James’s self-harm could be interpreted as cries for help. His carers’ ability to monitor and interpret these cries for help enabled them to support him to have his needs met. This meant they no longer needed to mechanically restrain him and restraints have not been used since October 2014.

Learning Disability Practice. 20, 4, 36-41. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2017.e1826


Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 19 December 2016

Accepted: 18 May 2017

Your organisation does not have access to this article
Recommend to your librarian
Already subscribed? Log in


Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests