U.K.: Research on Violence-Management Training the First of its Kind

March 31, 2006
Research by the University of Nottingham, funded by the U.K. Health and Safety Executive and supported by a range of health care professional representatives, is the first national evaluation of violence-management training of its kind in the United Kingdom. U.K. officials say the research will help promote greater consistency in the design and delivery of good training practices nationwide.

"On the basis of the substantial data gathered during the project, the health care sector is now in a much stronger position to assess the impact of violence management training and take the necessary steps to reduce incident levels even further," Senior Policy Advisor Jo Gravell said. "With considerable input and support from various healthcare representatives, and the National Health Service Security Management Service, the research project also has demonstrated the true value of collaborative working relationships in tackling such a serious issue."

Research: Poorly Thought-Out Training Makes Thing Worse

Violence management training offered to health care workers for example de-escalation, breakaway moves, control and restraint often has been a key element of strategies to prevent or manage the problem. The Nottingham project was designed to gather evidence about such training and to inform and support those who manage, deliver and attend such courses.

The research found that the practical training being given to nurses, doctors and other health care professionals is generally yielding "positive, but limited, short-term benefits" in dealing with the rising tide of aggression and violence they face in the workplace.

The Nottingham researchers concluded that to achieve effective standards, training has to blend with other preventative systems and procedures that already are in place in an organization. It is important that training does not just focus on promoting individual skills and knowledge.

They also found that poorly thought-out training is having a negative effect, leaving workers feeling more anxious and less capable of coping with the verbal and physical abuse aimed at them.

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