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Int J Nurs Stud. 1993 Jun;30(3):261-8.

A comparison of perceptions of aggression and violence by psychiatric nurses.

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Department of Nursing, University of New Hampshire, Durham 03824.


The current study was designed to obtain an initial understanding of the questions, "How consistent are the perceptions of psychiatric nurses regarding the seriousness of violent behavior" and "Are their perceptions consistent with those of nurses who do not have extensive psychiatric experience?". An exploratory study was conducted using items to measure Violence to Self, Others (Verbal and Physical) and Property. The items were formatted using Thurstone's method of paired comparisons and judgments regarding the seriousness of each type of violent behavior for the categories of doing grievous harm to self, others or property. Final weights were obtained using procedures outlined by Thurstone (1959) (The Measurement of Values. University of Chicago Press, Chicago). The sample included doctoral students in nursing (n = 35) and psychiatric nurses (n = 34) currently working in the inpatient psychiatric setting. The most noteworthy finding was the extent of disagreement within the psychiatric nurse group regarding the seriousness of the behaviors.

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