By the same authors

From the same journal

Physical injury and workplace assault in UK mental health trusts: An analysis of formal reports

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Published copy (DOI)


  • Laoise Renwick
  • Mary Lavelle
  • Geoffrey Brennan
  • Duncan Stewart
  • Karen James
  • Michelle Richardson
  • Hilary Williams
  • Owen Price
  • Len Bowers


Publication details

JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Nursing
DateAccepted/In press - 15 Nov 2015
DatePublished (current) - 18 Aug 2016
Issue number4
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)355-66
Original languageEnglish


Workplace violence is a significant problem for health service personnel, with National Health Service (NHS) workers subject to 68 683 physical assaults between 2013 and 2014. Almost 70% of assaults occur in the mental health sector, and although serious, non-fatal injury is rare, the individual and economic impact can be substantial. In the present study, we analysed mandatory incident reports from a national database to examine whether there were identifiable precursors to incidents leading to staff injury, and whether staff characteristics were associated with injury. In line with previous descriptions, we found injury occurred either as a direct result of patient assault or during physical interventions employed by staff to contain aggression. Importantly, we found little evidence from staff reports that patients' symptoms were driving aggression, and we found less evidence of patient perspectives among reports. We make several recommendations regarding the reporting of these events that could inform policy and interventions aimed at minimizing the likelihood of injury.

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