Reducing conflict on wards by improving team communication
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Reducing conflict on wards by improving team communication

Sue McLaughlin Nurse consultant, Prospect Park Hospital, Reading, Berkshire
Reuben Pearce Senior lecturer, University of West London
Steven Trenoweth Senior lecturer, University of West London

Sue McLaughlin and colleagues evaluate a pilot study that used interactive teaching methods to enable staff to rehearse real-life scenarios

Aggression in healthcare settings is a significant problem for patients and staff teams. The acute inpatient ward is no exception, especially when the conflict is in the form of verbal aggression. The authors’ developmental work has shown that existing strategies and training for dealing with conflict and verbal aggression are limited due to a focus on de-escalation and physical interventions, and a lack of attention to the finer details of communication. For training to be effective it should tap into communication systems at the individual and team level to reduce the likelihood of conflict situations escalating. Ward-based workshops using the forum theatre technique can help staff to reflect on the management of difficult situations and the communication style and system in which conflict is more likely to occur.

Mental Health Practice. 16, 5, 29-31. doi: 10.7748/mhp2013.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 19 March 2012

Accepted: 21 May 2012

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