A review and evaluation of workplace violence prevention programs in the health sector
Workplace violence is an unfortunate reality in the lives of Canadian health care workers, with evidence suggesting that incidence rates in Canada are significantly higher than other countries with similar models of health care. It is defined by World Health Organization 154 as “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation”. Workplace violence is often considered part of the job in the health sector and has therefore been more frequently overlooked than in other sectors until recently. Nurses in particular are at risk of being physically and emotionally abused at work.
It is clear that there is an immediate need for effective programs to reduce workplace violence towards nursing staff in Canada. This study involved a comprehensive literature review of workplace violence prevention programs utilized in health care and in nursing practice in particular, and an evaluation of the effectiveness of these prevention programs on their impact on the incidence of violence. The objectives of the study were to:
1) analyze and synthesize the research literature which proposes or evaluates the impact of workplace violence prevention programs, and
2) develop recommendations for a comprehensive approach towards violence reduction. The report’s findings will provide the framework for program initiative recommendations to be considered by policy makers. Additionally, areas in need of further study will be suggested on the basis of gaps revealed in the literature review.