• To recognise the extent and harmful effects of patient violence against mental health nurses
• To explore the factors that may contribute to patient violence against nurses in mental health inpatient settings
• To enhance your understanding of why nurses may be reluctant to share or report assaults by patients
Mental health nurses working in inpatient settings are at increased risk of being assaulted by patients. Systematic reviews have synthesised predominantly quantitative evidence relating to the prevalence, contributing factors, effects and adverse outcomes of violence towards mental health nurses. This article details a systematic review that used a meta-aggregative approach to synthesise qualitative evidence on the experiences of mental health nurses who have been assaulted by patients in inpatient settings.
The review found that nurses consider violence against them to be a significant and unacceptable issue that can have pervasive effects on their personal and professional lives. Nurses may avoid or suppress their emotions following an assault and may find it challenging to share or report their experiences. Mental health nurses’ perceptions of factors that contribute to, and can prevent, violence and assault include the environment, workforce, relationships, gender and restrictive practices. By focusing on findings generated through qualitative research, this review increases the depth of the existing evidence, using the voices of nurses who have experienced assault to enhance understanding of the issue.
Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2023.e1638Peer review
This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software
Ayres H, Schutz S, Kozlowska O (2023) Exploring mental health nurses’ experiences of assault by patients in inpatient settings. Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2023.e1638
Published online: 21 February 2023
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