Study: What makes patients turn violent?

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

September 24, 2014

A new study aims to avert patient attacks on healthcare workers by identifying the situations most likely to lead to a physical conflict, according to a report from Reuters.

The study, conducted by researchers from the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, and published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, was based on electronic incident reports of patient violence during a one-year period in a Midwestern hospital system that includes a pediatric hospital, a rehabilitation hospital and five specialty hospitals, the report said.
Among the findings, about 40 percent of the incidents involved patients with cognitive impairments such as dementia or intoxication. Other incidents occurred when workers were in close proximity to patients, such as using needles and otherwise causing discomfort, or physically moving patients from one place to another. Lastly, violent events also took place during transitions such as admission or discharge, use of restraints, redirecting patients back to their beds rooms and intervening with a violent patient, the study found.