A multinational study of psychiatric nursing staffs' beliefs and concerns about work safety and patient assault

Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 1996 Dec;10(6):365-73. doi: 10.1016/s0883-9417(96)80050-1.


In an effort to understand beliefs and concerns about work safety and patient assault, the author describes the results of a multinational survey of 999 nursing staff members working in psychiatric facilities across the United States, Canada, United Kindgom, and South Africa. Although the majority of the sample (75%) reported being physically assaulted at least once during their careers, 62% responded that they felt safe in their work environment most of the time. Significant differences were found among the nurses with regard to beliefs about adequacy of staffing, safety of the physical environment, admission of assaultive patients, expectations about being victims of assault, overall level of safety, and taking legal action against a patient. A significant difference in attitudes was also found among nursing staff members, who reported previous assaults. They believed that assaults are expected events in their work with psychiatric patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Data Collection
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital*
  • Patient Advocacy / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Psychiatric Nursing*
  • Safety*
  • Violence / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Workplace* / legislation & jurisprudence