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Article Discusses Workplace Violence in Health Care

Workplace violence often underreported; health care sector among industries most subject to violence

THURSDAY, April 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) — There is a lack of data relating to the prevalence of workplace violence in health care and how to address it, according to a review article published in the April 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

James P. Phillips, M.D., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, discusses workplace violence in various health care settings, including the prevalence across professions, potential risk factors, and ways to prevent violence.

Phillips notes that workplace violence in the health care environment has often been underreported, and is a ubiquitous and persistent problem that has been tolerated. The health care sector is considered among the industries most subject to violence in the United States; however, universally applicable methods of risk reduction have yet to be discovered. Most research to date has been related to quantifying the problem and efforts to profile perpetrators and victims. Few studies have focused on interventions, and these have highlighted the problems in finding a simple solution to address the issues.

“In the absence of data that define effective steps to prevent workplace violence, approaches to the problem may be considered at various levels,” Phillips writes. “Future research efforts should be devoted to unbiased data collection, experimental designs, and improved reporting processes.”

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