Monday, November 23, 2009

Reducing violence on the wards

Healthcare professionals often suffer from violence and one study of nurses in Minnesota found that 13.2% had been assaulted over the last 12 months. Psychiatric nurses are even more at risk and one study found that 20% were assaulted over the course of a working week. There are several approaches to reducing violence on inpatient wards: identifying and helping the most violent patients, helping staff to anticipate risks and calm situations down before they get violent, and changing the culture of organizations by adopting zero-tolerance policies for violence. Researchers from Massachusetts looked at an intervention in the third category, the Violence Prevention Community Meeting. The meetings included both staff and patients and aimed to change the culture of expectations and attitudes towards violence in order to reduce patients' aggression. Over the 20-week study the meetings were found to lead to significant decreases in violence which fell by 89% when the meetings were being held and by 57% in the four weeks after they had finished.

Lanza, Marilyn L. ... [et al] - Reducing violence against nurses: the Violence Prevention Community Meeting Issues in Mental Health Nursing December 2009, 30(12), 745-750

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