The importance and feasibility of hospital interventions to prevent and manage patient aggression and violence against physicians in China: a Delphi study

Yuhan Wu*, Martina Buljac-Samardzic, Dahai Zhao, C. T.B. Ahaus

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Background: Aggression and violence by patient (and their relatives/friends) is widely acknowledged as a serious occupational hazard, with physicians being particularly susceptible to witnessing and experiencing such incidents within hospitals. Research has shown that the negative consequences of such aggression and violence are not only felt at the individual level, but also at the team and organizational levels. Understanding how to prevent and manage this behavior towards physicians in hospitals is urgent and not fully researched. While there are many potentially effective interventions, it is unclear which ones would be valuable and feasible for Chinese hospitals. Because patient aggression and violence may occur more frequently in Chinese hospitals than in other countries, this suggests that cultural differences play a role and that tailored interventions may be needed. Method: We conducted a Delphi study to reach a consensus on the importance and feasibility of hospital interventions to prevent and manage patient (and their relatives/friends) aggression and violence against physicians in Chinese hospitals. Seventeen experts in China were invited to complete online questionnaires over three rounds. Results: After three rounds, consensus was achieved concerning 44 interventions, five other interventions were rejected, and no consensus was reached on another two. These interventions were clustered into eight categories: environment design, access and entrance, staffing and working practices, leadership and culture, training and education, support, during/after-the-event actions, and hospital policy. Each category is considered important in preventing and managing patient (and their relatives/friends) aggression and violence towards physicians in Chinese hospitals. This study also investigated the feasibility of the suggested interventions and found that 36 of the 44 interventions were considered not only relevant, but also feasible for implementation in Chinese hospitals. Conclusions: This study provides an overview of interventions that can be implemented in Chinese hospitals to prevent and manage patient (and their relatives/friends) aggression and violence before, during, and after a violent incident occurs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number34
JournalHuman Resources for Health
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2024

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Publisher Copyright: © The Author(s) 2024.

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