The use of physical restraints is still common practice in the care for the elderly in various settings in Europe, Asia and the USA. Physical restraints can be defined as any limitation in an individual’s freedom of movement by using measures or equipments such as belts, and chairs with a locked table. Prevalence estimates of restraint use range from 20% to more than 60% (including restrictive bedrails, belts, deep or overturned chairs, chairs with a table). In most cases physical restraints are used as safety measures, mainly for the prevention of falls. However, there is growing evidence that reducing the number of physical restraints does not lead to an increased number of falls or fall-related injuries. The use of restraints has negative physical, psychological and social consequences for nursing home residents. Therefore, effective restraint reduction approaches are urgently needed.