Using a specially designed risk assessment tool was an effective way of identifying violent hospital patients in medical and surgical units, according to a study in the November issue of the Journal of Advanced Nursing.
American researchers led by Son Chae Kim, Professor of Nursing at Point Loma Nazarene University and Kristyn Ideker, a Registered Nurse at Scripps Memorial Hospital, San Diego, California, studied more than 2,000 patients admitted to an American acute care hospital over a five-month period.
"Patient violence occurs in all healthcare settings and, although a number of tools have been developed for use in psychiatric units, there is a lack of brief screening tools for medical and surgical settings" says Professor Kim.
"That is why we developed the ten-point Aggressive Behaviour Risk Assessment Tool (ABRAT), which was completed within 24 hours of admission and appears to provide a promising tool for predicting which patients will become violent during their hospital stay.
"For example less than one per cent of patients with an ABRAT rating of zero became violent, compared with 41 per cent of those with a rating of two or more.
"Two nurses completed an ABRAT rating for each patient, agreeing in 93 per cent and 96.5 per cent of cases on ABRAT scores with cut off points of one and two respectively."
Key findings of the study included:
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