Taser use on individuals experiencing mental distress: an integrative literature review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Authors

  • Joy Duxbury
  • Tina McKee
  • Natalie Harrison
  • Alina Haines
  • Elaine Craig
  • Anthony O'Brien

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • University of Central Lancashire
  • Birmingham City University
  • University of Auckland

Abstract

Introduction
Conducted electrical weapons, or “Tasers,” are currently used by over 15,000 law enforcement and military agencies worldwide. There are concerns regarding the effectiveness, potential for harm and overuse with people experiencing mental distress.

Aim
To explore the literature about police use of Tasers with people experiencing mental distress.

Method
An integrative review was undertaken, and qualitative and quantitative analytical approaches were used.

Results
There are substantial gaps in the research literature particularly with respect to the decision‐making processes involved in deploying Tasers on this population and the physical and psychological consequences of Taser use in this context.

Discussion
There are substantial gaps in the research literature particularly with respect to the decision‐making processes involved in deploying Tasers on this population and the physical and psychological consequences of Taser use in this context.

Implications for practice
Police use of Tasers in mental health crises is relatively common and occurs in a variety of environments including mental health settings. Mental health professionals need to work with police towards greater understanding of the needs of people with mental illness and to promote the use of non‐coercive interventions in mental health crisis events.

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Early online date19 Jan 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • crime and mental health, crisis resolution, policing, risk management, safety and security, violence