Wrist Flexion Techniques and CPI Training

May 11, 2021
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For Certified Instructors working in services for children and especially those of you working in residential settings governed by the Children’s Home Regulations 2015, you may be aware of the recent letter from the Department of Education.

The letter references a piece of research undertaken by CPI Senior Vice President Chris Stirling and colleagues and published in the Journal of Emergency Medicine and Care concludes that Wrist Flexion Techniques (WFT) are pain inducing with increased risk of injury.

Wrist Flexion Techniques are specific physical holding techniques which require a member of staff to flex/bend a person’s wrist in order to gain control in order to limit the person’s range of movement.

This research demonstrated that Wrist Flexion Techniques, which are given a variety of name including ‘maximum hold’, ‘ultimately hold’, or ‘high level hold’, vary in impact on the individual in terms of the degree of movement under which an individual may experience pain, as well as the subjective experience or degree of pain each individual will feel. As such, all Wrist Flexion Techniques should be considered pain inducing.

Given the letter from the Department of Education, CPI wants to give clear assurance that none of the physical holding skills taught within the Safety Intervention Curriculum for Foundation, Advanced or Advanced and Emergency include Wrist Flexion Techniques or any other techniques that have been shown to induce pain.

You can read the full research article here. Chris Stirling is currently working on another publication which will provide a taxonomy of risk for all physical interventions which can be used to help organisations determine which physical interventions they wish to authorise and approve for use.

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