Risk factors associated with patient assaults of home healthcare workers

Rehabil Nurs. 2010 Sep-Oct;35(5):206-15. doi: 10.1002/j.2048-7940.2010.tb00049.x.


This study used surveys from 677 home healthcare aides and nurses to explore factors associated with assaults by patients. Among respondents, 4.6% reported one or more patient assaults (being hit, kicked, pinched, shoved, or bitten) during the past year. Logistic regression analysis examined associations between several potential risk factors and assaults. Three factors were significant, including having one or more patients with dementia (OR = 4.31, 95% CI 1.47-12.67), routinely handling patients (OR = 8.48, 95% CI 1.89-37.94), and perceiving threats of violence by others in and around patients' homes (OR = 4.45, 95% CI 1.75-11.32). Assaults were not significantly associated with worker age, gender, race, job title, hours of work, or use of needles during patient care. Assaulted workers and workers who perceived threats of violence by others were significantly more likely to have shortened home care visits. More detailed research is needed to confirm these results and evaluate methods to reduce assault risk.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Community Health Nursing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Dementia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Home Health Aides / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rehabilitation Nursing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology