Violence committed against nursing staff by patients in psychiatric outpatient settings [2018]

Violence against nurses has increased particularly in psychiatric outpatient settings as psychiatric care shifts from being inpatient‐based to being outpatient‐based. Violence is a complex phenomenon that must be explored in different psychiatric nursing environments and settings. Violence in psychiatric outpatient settings should especially be explored as violence in this context has scarcely been examined. The aim of this systematic review was to elucidate violence committed against nursing staff by patients in adult psychiatric outpatient settings, based on reports from previous studies. A literature search was conducted in the CINAHL (EBSCO), Ovid MEDLINE, and PsycARTICLES (Ovid) databases. Fourteen studies emerged after the selection and quality assessment process. These studies indicated that violence in psychiatric outpatient settings is a multidimensional phenomenon comprising the reasons for, forms of, and consequences of violence. Reasons for violence could be related to the patient as well as to nursing staff. In psychiatric outpatient settings, verbal violence was the most common form of violence, and violence most frequently led to psychological consequences for nursing staff. The findings of this review highlight the importance of nursing staff developing skills and interventions for managing different kinds of violent situations. Given the multidimensional consequences of violence, attention must be given to the occupational well‐being and coping ability of nursing staff at work. Furthermore, it would be worthwhile to compare cultural and intercountry differences of violent exposures in psychiatric outpatient settings.

Jenni Konttila RN, M.Sc Hanna‐Mari Pesonen RN, PhD Helvi Kyngäs PhD

International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 15 May 2018