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Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 1992 Jun;6(3):163-71.

Nurses as patient assault victims: an update, synthesis, and recommendations.

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Nursing Service for Research, Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, Bedford, MA 01730.


The literature documenting the incidence and reactions of nursing staff who have been assaulted by patients is increasing. Before 1980 very little work was done in the area. What did appear generally indicated that patient violence against staff was infrequent, and on the rare occasion when it did occur the staff member was usually in some way responsible. Current research shows that assault is a serious risk factor for nurses. The incidence of assault is high and vastly underreported. Staff members experience short- and long-term emotional, social, biophysiological, and cognitive reactions to being assaulted. Interventions to help the staff victim in the recovery process are increasingly used.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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