Preventing Patient-to-Worker Violence in Hospitals: Outcome of a Randomized Controlled Intervention

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To evaluate the effects of a randomized controlled intervention on the incidence of patient-to-worker (Type II) violence and related injury in hospitals.


Forty-one units across seven hospitals were randomized into intervention (n = 21) and control (n = 20) groups. Intervention units received unit-level violence data to facilitate development of an action plan for violence prevention; no data were presented to control units. Main outcomes were rates of violent events and injuries across study groups over time.


Six months post-intervention, incident rate ratios of violent events were significantly lower on intervention units compared with controls (incident rate ratio [IRR] 0.48, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.29 to 0.80). At 24 months, the risk for violence-related injury was lower on intervention units, compared with controls (IRR 0.37, 95% CI 0.17 to 0.83).


This data-driven, worksite-based intervention was effective in decreasing risks of patient-to-worker violence and related injury.

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