Cues that predict violence in the hospital setting: Findings from an observational study

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Collegian, 2014, 21 (1), pp. 65 - 70
Issue Date:
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Background: The prevalence of violent acts in the health care environment has been the cause of increasing concern. Several cues associated with violence towards nurses in the acute care setting have been identified qualitatively. However, larger scale observational studies to determine the potential of these cues to predict physical violence, are lacking in the acute health setting. Purpose: To report an observational study determining whether particular behavioural cues are predictive of patient-to-nurse physical violence. Method: Non-participant structured observations. Discussion: Clinical observation (n=1150. h) resulted in 1501 observed cues for violence in 220 patients; 36 of whom were observed to become violent. Five (5) behavioural cues were found to predict violent acts. Conclusions: Findings suggest five behavioural cues could be used to assess potential physical violence. Additional research needs to be undertaken to further validate the efficacy of these cues in the acute hospital setting. © 2013 Australian College of Nursing Ltd.
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