3rd Annual Middle Eastern Nurses and Partners in Caring Science

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Research Title: 
Nurses’ Attitudes and Practices towards Inpatient Aggression in a Palestinian Psychiatric Hospital
Al-Awawdeh H
Russo S
Alkaissi A
Thu, 2015-02-19
Research Abstract: 
Background: Inpatient aggression can occur for many reasons and there are many factors that contribute to this occurrence such as patient factors, staff factors and environmental factors. There are strategies to prevent and manage aggression. 
Aims: The aims of this study are to explore nurse's practices and attitudes of inpatient psychiatric aggression to identify the way the nurses handle aggression by patients and exploring the effects of patients, staff and environmental factors on the occurrence of aggression.
Participants and methods: The study was conducted at Dr. Kamal Adwan Psychiatric Hospital in Bethlehem. All nursing staff in the mental health hospital who had worked for at least one year at the time of the study were recruited (67 nurses). The participants ranged in age from 20-50 years with a mean age of (35.1) (±SD = ±7.8) and included 30 females and 37 males. A questionnaire was used which has three scales: Attitude Toward Aggression Scale (ATAS), Management Of Aggression and Violence Scale (MAVAS) and Demographic Scale.
Results: Nurses were inclined to perceive patient aggression as destructive, violent, intrusive and functional reactions. They were less inclined to view aggression as protective, communicative or acceptable normal reactions. Female nurses in this study were more likely to view aggression as having an intrusive role whereas, on the contrary, male nurses were more likely to view aggression as having a communicative role and they believed that the aggression could be managed in general. Longer professional experience was significantly associated with a higher frequency of the management of aggression in general. Nurses from the admission ward (male and female) were in less agreement with the Protective and Communicative Attitudes scales than the nurses from the other inpatient wards. On the other hand, nurses from admission ward (particularly female) and recovery ward (male and female) had a higher rate of violent and offensive reaction to aggression than nurses from the other wards. The nurses from the chronic female ward had a higher intrusive scale than nurses from the other wards. The highest level of the scientific grade group is a Master of Mental Health with a high level mean regarding the attitudes to the acceptable normal reaction scale, violent reaction scale, functional reaction scale, offensive scale, communicative scale, destructive scale, external causative factors scale, situational/interactional causative factors scale, Management: general, and Management: use of medication. 
The nurses agree that there are internal, external and interactional factors to inpatient aggression. Nurses believe that patients may be aggressive because of the environment of the psychiatric hospital. Nurses believe that aggression develops because staff do not listen to the patients, there is poor interaction between staff and patients and other people make patients aggressive. Nurses believe in the use of medications, restraint and seclusion widely , on the contrary, they believe in the use of non-physical methods like negotiation and expression of anger.
Conclusion: This study demonstrate that there are different attitudes of nurses toward patient aggression in psychiatric inpatient settings. This study found that aggression is negatively viewed by Palestinian psychiatric nurses. These attitudes are reflective of the opinions of lay persons in our society. There is a need for training programs to reorient the opinions of nurses in relation to inpatient aggression. These programs should contribute to improved patient care and reduction in the frequency of aggressive acts within inpatient units.