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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 56 (2014) 7, 448 - 454

New research

Estimating and reporting aggression in relation to personal characteristics of emergency service workers

E.J.M. Penterman, C.P.F. van der Staak, H.L.I. Nijman

background Research on aggression in mental health care has focused mainly on patient characteristics, whereas very little research has been done on the characteristics of the care providers in their reporting of aggression.
aim To study the characteristics of the care providers of an emergency service in relation to the reporting of aggression.
method All emergency service workers( n = 21) in the Uden-Veghel region were asked to complete a neo-pi-r form. Before 576 outreach contacts had been made with patients in psychiatric crises, the Checklist of Risks in the Crisis-team (crc) was also completed and in cases where the patient exhibited aggressive behaviour, a soas-r form was filled in, following contact with the patient.
results Significant differences were found between the psychiatric emergency service workers with regard to the mean estimates of the likelihood that they would experience aggression during the consultation and with regard to the proportion of patient contacts for which emergency workers reported aggression. There were indications that the level of conscientiousness of the emergency service workers was positively associated with a higher chance that they would report aggressive behaviour following the consultation. Furthermore, altruism was found to be negatively associated with the likelihood, as predicted by the service workers, that they would be confronted with aggression during contact with the patient.
conclusion Possibly, workers who scored high on conscientiousness and who work thoroughly and in a orderly and systematic manner and who keep to the rules are less flexible in their response to the patient during the interaction. As a result, the patient became irritated more quickly. On the other hand, it could be that conscientious workers completed the form-filling more carefully when aggression had to be reported and as a result they made higher preliminary estimates of the likelihood of aggression and a reported a larger number of incidents of actual aggression.

keywords agression, care providers, emergency service, predicition