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Evaluation of safety and security programs to reduce violence in health care settings.

Peek-Asa C; Allareddy V; Casteel C; Nociera M; Harrison R; Goldmacher S; Curry J; Valiante D; Blando J; O'Hagan E
Richmond, CA: California Department of Public Health, Occupational Health Surveillance and Evaluation Program, 2007 Jan; :1-77
Scope of the problem. Health care workers, especially those providing emergency and psychiatric care, have long been recognized as having a high risk of work-related assault. The National Crime Victimization Survey reports that between 1992 and 1996 more than 600,000 violent victimizations occurred to workers in the healthcare industry (Warchol, 1997). Nurses are at particularly high risk, with an annual average of 69,500 reported violent victimizations. This corresponds to an annual rate of 24.8 victimizations per 1,000 nurses, which is the highest rate among occupations in the healthcare industry. The rate of assault injuries to psychiatric nurses has been estimated at 16 per 100 employees per year, which exceeds the annual rate of all injuries found in many high risk occupations (Carmel and Hunter, 1989). Risk Factors for violence to health care workers. Violence at work can be categorized into four types based on the relationship of the perpetrator to the business (Peek-Asa et al., 1998; Howard, 1996). Health care workers are at risk primarily from assaults committed by patients, although criminal intent assaults, such as rapes, also occur all too frequently. Prevention. A thorough review of administrative approaches to reducing violence at work was conducted by Runyan et al. (2000). Nine evaluations were identified, all of which occurred in health care settings and addressed violence against workers by patients. Five of the evaluations found that employee training programs to manage assaultive behavior led to decreases in the frequency of assaults. Decreases were also found in programs that took administrative approaches such as flagging charts and introducing a management program. Although each study reviewed had methodologic flaws, the evidence supports the ability to reduce assaults through organized approaches.
Demographic-characteristics; Emotional-stress; Health-care-facilities; Health-care-personnel; Health-protection; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Medical-personnel; Medical-services; Occupational-psychology; Occupational-safety-programs; Psychological-factors; Psychological-responses; Quantitative-analysis; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Safety-research; Statistical-analysis; Training; Traumatic-injuries; Treatment; Work-areas; Work-environment; Worker-health; Worker-motivation; Work-organization; Work-performance; Workplace-monitoring; Workplace-studies; Work-practices
Corinne Peek-Asa, MPH, PhD, University of Iowa, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, 100 Oakdale Blvd. #114 IREH, Iowa City, IA 52242
Publication Date
Document Type
Email Address
Funding Type
Grant; Contract
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-007934; Contract-200-2001-08014
Source Name
Evaluation of Safety and Security Programs to Reduce Violence in Health Care Settings
Performing Organization
University of Iowa
Page last reviewed: January 14, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division