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Using action research to plan a violence prevention program for emergency departments.

Gates D; Gillespie G; Smith C; Rode J; Kowalenko T; Smith B
J Emerg Nurs 2011 Jan; 37(1):32-39
INTRODUCTION: Although there are numerous studies that show that emergency department (ED) violence is a prevalent and serious problem for healthcare workers, there is a lack of published evaluations of interventions aimed at reducing this alarming trend. Using an action research model, the authors partnered with six hospitals to plan, implement and evaluate a violence prevention and management intervention. Phase one of this project involved gathering information from employees, managers and patients using focus groups. METHODS: Ninety-seven persons participated in one of twelve focus groups. The Haddon matrix was used to develop focus group questions aimed at gathering data about the pre-assault, during assault, and post-assault time frames and to compare these findings to planned strategies. Analysis consisted of identification of themes related to intervention strategies for patients/visitors, employees, managers, and the work environment. RESULTS: Thematic analysis results supported the relevance, feasibility, and saliency of the planned intervention strategies. With the exception of a few items, employees and managers from the different occupational groups agreed on the interventions needed to prevent and manage violence against ED workers. Patients focused on improved staff communication and comfort measures. DISCUSSION: Results support that violence in the emergency department is increasing, that violence is a major concern for those who work in and visit emergency departments, and that interventions are needed to reduce workplace violence. The Haddon matrix along with an action research method was useful to identify intervention strategies most likely to be successfully implemented and sustained by the emergency departments.
Safety-education; Safety-programs; Health-care; Health-care-facilities; Health-care-personnel; Emergency-care; Emergency-responders; Emergency-response; Nurses; Nursing; Injury-prevention; Management-personnel; Health-surveys; Questionnaires; Work-operations; Work-practices; Workplace-studies; Analytical-models; Attitude; Behavior-patterns; Administration; Control-methods; Psychology; Group-dynamics
Donna Gates, EdD, RN, FAAN, University of Cincinnati, 3110 Vine St, ML 0038, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0038
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-009544; Grant-Number-T42-OH-008432
Issue of Publication
Source Name
Journal of Emergency Nursing
Performing Organization
University of Cincinnati
Page last reviewed: March 18, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division