Patient and Visitor Aggression in General Hospitals: An analysis of perspectives and strategies at staff, team and management level

Birgit Heckemann

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisExternal prepared

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Patient and visitor aggression (PVA) causes human suffering in all healthcare professions, with nurses being particularly severely affected. This thesis examines the nurse perspective with regards to why recommended strategies against PVA in German, Swiss and Austrian general hospitals often fail. The results depict an unsupportive attitude towards addressing PVA in many organisations, along with insufficient incident reporting and communication regarding PVA. Nurse managers often lack risk factor knowledge and coaching as well as counselling skills to support the staff. Nursing teams lack skills and knowledge to deal with PVA and its emotional impact. The dissertation shows that PVA is a pervasive but underestimated problem in many organisations.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Schols, Jos, Supervisor
  • Hahn, S., Supervisor, External person
  • Halfens, Ruud, Co-Supervisor
Award date20 Jun 2018
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789462959101
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • aggression
  • violence
  • general hospital
  • patient and visitor
  • nursing
  • strategy
  • implementation

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