The “disease” of violence against health-care workers is a wicked problem. Managing and preventing violence in health-care

Jacob, Alycia, McCann, Damhnat, Buykx, Penny, Thomas, Brodie, Spelten, Evelien, Schultz, Rebecca, Kinsman, Leigh, and Jacob, Elisabeth (2022) The “disease” of violence against health-care workers is a wicked problem. Managing and preventing violence in health-care. Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, 14 (2). pp. 159-170.

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Purpose: This paper aims to illustrate the complexity of understanding and managing violent behaviour in health care. The authors will show how different perceptions of the reasons for violent behaviour, and linkages between violent behaviour and illness have contributed to the creation of a wicked problem and added significant complexity to the management of violence towards staff within health-care settings. This paper will conclude with a call for strong multi-disciplinary action to address this ongoing issue.

Design/methodology/approach: A narrative review was undertaken to explore the ways that violence has been perceived in health care and the ways in which the concept of violence has moved from being seen as a criminal issue to being within the realms of disease. This paper will show the importance of understanding who is perpetrating violence in health care, why and in what settings. It will expound on the idea that considering violence as a consequence of disease necessarily adds a layer of complexity to both individual and organisational responses to violence towards health-care staff.

Findings: Understanding the complexity in preventing and managing violence against health-care staff can assist policymakers and managers to develop multi-faceted approaches to violence prevention, including better recognition and understanding of perpetrators of violence.

Originality/value: This paper provides a unique perspective on thinking about violence in health care and the implications of its complexity.

Item ID: 72966
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2042-8715
Keywords: aggression, wicked problem, healthcare, healthcare systems, violence
Copyright Information: © Emerald Publishing Limited
Sensitivity Note: note
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2022 05:21
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420311 Health systems @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2002 Evaluation of health and support services > 200205 Health policy evaluation @ 100%
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