2005 issue 2


Volume 14, issue 2


Forms ofpatients' violent behaviour vs. occupational burnout in the staff ofpsychiatric services

1. Oddziału Leczenia Depresji Kliniki Psychiatrii Dorosłych Collegium Medicum Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego w Krakowie
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2005; 14 (2): 67-77
Keywords: occupational background, aggression, violent behaviour


Background. On the grounds of the current literature and reported research findings an overview is presented of factors conductive to patients' aggression, and of various forms of their violent behaviour.

Review. Multiple factors determining violent behaviour ofpsychiatric patients have held broad interest of researchers and clinicians for many years. Both verbal and physical violence as an infringement of human and worker 's rights, as well as the risk of being exposed to such violence are included among the most powerful factors making one 's workplace unhealthy and repulsive. Aggression and violence in psychiatry are a controversial issue, as it is more and more often emphasised that besides dangerous behaviours ofsome patients, organisational errors are at fault. On the other hand, violence experienced in psychiatry is regarded as an "occupational risk", said to be "always the way" in this sort of work. Immediate and long-term effects of patients' violent behaviour on the staff ofpsychiatric care facilities are discussed.

Conclusion. The problem of "triggering" violent behaviours in psychiatric facilities requires utmost attention.

Address for correspondence:
Mgr Magdalena Sariusz-Skąpska, Oddział Leczenia Depresji Kliniki Psychiatrii Dorosłych Collegium Medicum Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego, ul. Kopernika 21B, 31-501 Kraków