MSN-602 Northern Kentucky University – Exploring the Effectiveness of De-Escalation Techniques in Managing Aggression in Inpatient Adults: A Capstone Proposal


PICO- Among inpatient adults, de-escalation techniques are more effective in management of aggression/psychomotor agitation compared to physical/mechanical restraints within six weeks of hospitalization.

Consider your PICO question: what would be your theoretical framework and/or model and the type of study you will conduct (quality improvement or evidence-based practice) related to it? Explain.

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Determine how you will collect your data and what type of research design will best meet your needs (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods).

Discuss your project idea and the population and setting in which the capstone may/will take place.

What principles of ethics may be particular to your study?


Exploring the Effectiveness of De-Escalation Techniques in Managing Aggression in Inpatient Adults: A Capstone Proposal


In this capstone proposal, we aim to investigate the effectiveness of de-escalation techniques compared to physical/mechanical restraints in managing aggression and psychomotor agitation among inpatient adults within six weeks of hospitalization. This proposal will outline the theoretical framework, research design, data collection methods, and ethical considerations for the study.

Theoretical Framework and Model

The theoretical framework for this study can be based on the Crisis Prevention Institute’s Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® (NVCI) model, which emphasizes de-escalation techniques and therapeutic interventions to manage aggressive behavior. The NVCI model provides a structured approach to preventing and managing crisis situations, offering a framework for understanding the underlying causes of aggression and promoting nonviolent strategies for intervention.

Research Design

To investigate the effectiveness of de-escalation techniques, a quantitative research design would be appropriate. This design allows for systematic data collection and analysis to determine the comparative effectiveness of de-escalation techniques versus physical/mechanical restraints in managing aggression. It enables the measurement of objective outcomes and facilitates statistical analysis to draw conclusions.

Data Collection Methods

Data can be collected through a combination of methods, including patient medical records review, direct observation, and staff interviews. Medical records will provide information on patient demographics, psychiatric history, and any documented incidents of aggression or psychomotor agitation. Direct observation will allow trained observers to assess the frequency and severity of aggressive behaviors and the use of de-escalation techniques or restraints. Staff interviews can provide insights into their experiences, perceptions, and strategies used in managing aggression.

Population and Setting

The study will focus on inpatient adults in a psychiatric or behavioral health setting. The population will consist of individuals with various psychiatric diagnoses who exhibit aggression or psychomotor agitation during their hospital stay. The study can be conducted in collaboration with a mental health facility or hospital that provides acute psychiatric care.

Ethical Considerations

Several principles of ethics are crucial to consider in this study:

Informed Consent: Obtaining informed consent from participants or their legal representatives is essential. The nature of the study, potential risks, and benefits should be clearly explained, ensuring that participants can make an informed decision about their participation.

Privacy and Confidentiality: Protecting the privacy and confidentiality of participants’ information is paramount. Data collection should adhere to ethical guidelines to ensure anonymity and secure storage of data.

Minimizing Harm: Measures should be taken to minimize any potential harm or distress to participants during data collection. Trained observers should prioritize the safety and well-being of patients while documenting incidents.

Beneficence: The study aims to contribute to improving patient care and outcomes. The findings may inform evidence-based practice guidelines and promote the use of nonviolent de-escalation techniques over restrictive physical/mechanical restraints.


This capstone proposal outlines a study investigating the effectiveness of de-escalation techniques in managing aggression and psychomotor agitation among inpatient adults. A quantitative research design, guided by the Crisis Prevention Institute’s NVCI model, will allow for rigorous data collection and analysis. Ethical considerations will be at the forefront, ensuring participant rights, privacy, and well-being are protected. The study has the potential to inform evidence-based practice and contribute to the development of guidelines aimed at promoting nonviolent interventions in managing aggression among inpatient adults, ultimately improving patient outcomes in psychiatric and behavioral health settings.

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