Erfahrungen und Umgang der Pflegenden mit aggressivem Verhalten von Bewohner(inne)n: eine deskriptive Querschnittstudie in Schweizer Pflegeheimen

A. Zeller*, I. Needham, T. Dassen, G. Kok, R.J.G. Halfens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The present exploratory descriptive cross-sectional study with the participation of 814 (51.8%) caregivers in 21 Swiss nursing homes provides insight into caregivers' experiences and handling of residents' aggressive behaviour. Moreover, caregiver burden with regard to resident aggression and the consequences on the caregiver-resident-relationship were investigated. The survey was carried out by means of validated questionnaire. Approximately 38% of participants experienced aggressive incidents during the last seven days prior to data collection. In most cases aggressive behaviour was caused by residents suffering from dementia and/or depression and occurred during nursing interventions involving physical contact. As a trigger for aggressive behaviour participants predominately assumed "non-understanding and excessive demand" of residents. Reassuring conversation and keeping oneself at a distance were most often used to calm the situation. Approximately 40% of participants experienced physical attacks as especially distressing and circa 23% were frightened, particularly when aggressive behaviour occurred without warning. Approximately 4 % of caregivers avoided contact with residents after an aggressive incident and 12.3 % perceived a disturbed relationship. It can be assumed that caregivers do not adequately perceive emotions possibly underlying aggressive behaviour in the escalation phase and therefore may not identify early signs of beginning aggression.

Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)321-335
Number of pages15
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • aggression
  • management of aggressive behaviour
  • nursing homes
  • cross-sectional study
  • CARE
  • WORK

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