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Acad Psychiatry. 2015 Feb;39(1):94-8. doi: 10.1007/s40596-014-0212-x. Epub 2014 Aug 7.

How do we keep our residents safe? An educational intervention.

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  • 1Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA,



Recent evidence suggests that 25-64 % of psychiatry residents are the victims of assault by patients; only a minority, however, feel they receive adequate safety and violence training during residency. To address this disparity, the author designed, implemented, and assessed the effectiveness of a brief educational intervention focused on improving the residents' ability to recognize violence risk and increase attention to safety in the psychiatric interview.


The subjects were 13 second-year psychiatry residents. Effectiveness was evaluated via the assessment of the residents' written responses describing their first clinical intervention after hearing a case vignette of a potentially violent patient (before and 1 month following the intervention). Responses were evaluated for any evidence of concerns for safety.


The number of residents citing safety concerns increased (38 to 92 %), as did the level of sophistication in their proposed interventions.


A brief educational intervention focused on violence risk and interview safety may be effective in increasing residents' attention to safety concerns in their clinical care, and further work will be beneficial to confirm and expand upon these findings.

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