The Assaultive Staff Action Program (ASAP): 25 Year
Raymond B. Flannery Jr.
Published online: 9 June 2015
Ó Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015
Abstract The Assaulted Staff Action Program (ASAP) is a voluntary, system-wide, peer-
help, crisis intervention program to address the psychological sequelae in staff victims of
patient assaults. It has been associated with cost-effective, quality support services to staff
victims of patient assaults and declines in assaults facility-wide in several facilities, after
an ASAP was ﬁelded. ASAP’s functions and service provisions have been reported in
previous 5-year intervals. The present paper reports on its most recent 5-year interval as
ASAP complete its 25th year of service. The 5-year summary and the basic strengths and
limitations of the program over this 25 year period are examined.
Keywords Assaulted Staff Action Program Á ASAP Á Crisis intervention Á Patient
assaults Á Staff victims
Although not all psychiatric patients become assaultive, many do . These patient
assaults are frequently directed toward staff and represent a worldwide occupational hazard
in health care settings [2–4]. Such assaults may result in death, permanent and temporary
disability, medical injury, and lost productivity [1–4]. These patient assaults may also
result in intense psychological fear and/or psychological trauma, which, if left untreated,
may result in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) .
Although facilities adequately treat any associated medical injuries, the psychological
aspects are often addressed informally, if at all. The more common informal methods
& Raymond B. Flannery Jr.
Department of Psychiatry, Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School, 1493 Cambridge
street, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
The University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, USA
Psychiatr Q (2016) 87:211–216