Psychiatric patient assaults on staff are a serious and continuing problem in health care settings. Over thirty years of empirical research have documented the characteristics of both patient assailants and staff victims. Notably absent from this literature have been similar empirical studies on the nature of patient precipitants to these assaults. This paper reviewed empirical studies of patient assault precipitants from 1990–2003. Six studies from three countries were reviewed. Common precipitants included staff restrictions on patient behaviors, denial of services, excessive sensory overload, and provocation by others. The clinical, methodological, and risk management implications are examined.
Psychiatric Quarterly – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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