Patient and visitor violence in general hospitals

S. Hahn

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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Patient and visitor violence (PVV) in general hospitals is an underestimated problem. The dissertation investigates the occurrence and factors of this workplace hazard. Over half of the participating 2495 health professionals experienced PVV in the past year. Risk factors are connected to the personal characteristics of those involved, the interaction and the situation. Medical doctors experienced less violence than other health professionals. Young or inexperienced staff or staff working in emergency settings experienced more. Physical injuries occurred in 15% of the incidences. Verbal violence was emotionally upsetting for almost all participants and most for who had experienced physical violence. In general the research results showed that strong institutional policies and procedures against patient and visitor violence are important in order to increase staff’s feeling of safety and in order to reduce the frequency of patient and visitor violence. Focused training for specific staff groups, workplaces and interdisciplinary teamwork would also be beneficial.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Kok, Gerjo, Supervisor
  • Dassen, T., Supervisor, External person
  • Halfens, Ruud, Co-Supervisor
Award date28 Jun 2012
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789461591500
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • patient and visitor violence
  • general hospitals

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