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Violence prevention programs in health care

In brief

  • Health care professionals experience higher rates of workplace violence than workers in other occupations, and workplace violence is a growing problem, especially in high risk areas such as long-term care, emergency departments, mental health care facilities, and acute care wards.
  • Verbal insults or threats, physical assaults, and inappropriate touching can lead to stress, lost productivity, sick time, and injury. Staff recruitment/retention and quality of patient care can suffer as a result.
  • Our work in BC found that violence-related incidents lead to poorer RTW outcomes, compared to non-violence-related incidents, in workers with psychological injuries; and among health care counselors and social workers, and workers in long-term care and residential social services.
  • We developed a systems framework identifying potential leading and lagging indicators from a review of qualitative and quantitative research literature and information from focus groups and key informant interviews with managers and frontline staff. We then developed priority indicators in consultation with an employer/labour advisory panel.
  • Indicators were identified across socio-political, organizational, environmental, patient and caregiver domains. The research literature tended to emphasize patient and caregiver factors, while manager and staff interviews emphasized organizational and environmental factors. Priority indicators were identified in areas of hazard identification and management, staffing and staff mix, communications, and education and training.

Next steps

  • We are currently conducting a realist review and evaluation of the effectiveness of violence prevention training in BC health authorities. Learn more

 
Learn more about our other work with leading indicators: Occupational Health and Safety Practices Survey

Contact: Suhail Marino

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

School of Population and Public Health
2206 East Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada
Tel: 604-822-2772
Partnership for Work, Health and Safety
2206 East Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada
Tel: 604-822-8544

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