Aggression and violence towards staff working with older patients
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Aggression and violence towards staff working with older patients

Barbara Mullan Lecturer, Health psychology, School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Australia
Frances Badger Research fellow, School of Health Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham

Aim To investigate the incidence of violence and aggression towards staff working in elderly care wards and to consider the factors that influence the risk of experiencing such an incident.

Method Questionnaires were administered to 287 nursing and therapy staff within a community health NHS trust in the West Midlands. A response rate of 34% (96) was achieved.

Results Fifty one per cent (49) of staff had experienced an incident of violence or aggression. There was a significant difference between the probability of experiencing violence and the occupation of the participant (χ2=0.035), with 65% (31 of 48) of nurses having experienced an incident, compared to only 42% (10 of 24) of occupational therapists and 27% (4 of 15) of physiotherapists.

Conclusion This study should be replicated in a wider geographical area and apparent anomalies in frequency of assault by occupation need to be considered in future research.

Nursing Standard. 21, 27,35-38. doi: 10.7748/ns2007.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review