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Workplace violence prevention in the mental health setting.

Lipscomb-JA; McPhaul-K; Soeken-K; Geiger Brown-J; Choi-M
NOIRS 2003-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2003, October 28-30, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2003 Oct; :44
Significance: Workplace violence is a significant hazard in the healthcare sector. The National Crime Victimization Survey found assaults among mental health workers were four times that of healthcare workers. In 1996, OSHA published "Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Health Care and Social Service Workers". The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of these guidelines in the in-patient mental health care setting. Methods: The OSHA guidelines provided the framework for the intervention in four study facilities while three facilities served as controls. Two measurement tools, a pre-and post- intervention survey and a computerized data system (OIRS) reported assault injuries, were used to evaluate intervention effectiveness one year following program implementation. Results: Four hundred seventy-six direct care staff completed the pre-intervention survey (94% response rate). At baseline over one quarter of staff reported > 25 threats, and over 50% reported some type of physical injury in the past 12 months. As a group, the OSHA elements were significant predictors of assault (p< .001). A high level of management commitment was associated with a reduced odds of violence (OR .32, 95% CI .14 - .75). Work-related variables were significantly related to violence (p < .001); 10 of 11 variables entered were retained in the final model. Overall, the model was significant (94.29, df =14, p<.001); these predictors explained 39% of the variance in violence directed workers in these cross-sectional data. A comparison of pre- and post-intervention survey and OIRS data is underway and will be presented. Conclusion: Though the OSHA guidelines were published in 1996, to the best of our knowledge, this NYS project is the first to evaluate their effectiveness in health care. Direct care staff involvement in identifying and implementing violence prevention strategies is anticipated to improve overall workplace health and safety.
Health-care-facilities; Health-care-personnel; Health-care; Mental-health; Statistical-analysis; Epidemiology; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Workers; Workplace-studies; Workplace-monitoring
Publication Date
Document Type
Abstract; Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Intervention Effectiveness Research
Source Name
NOIRS 2003-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2003, October 28-30, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Performing Organization
University of Maryland
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division