Violence in Mental Health Settings: Causes, Consequences, Management / Edition 1

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Despite great improvement in service delivery, patient violence remains a major problem at mental health facilities. Focusing equally on causes, management, and prevention, this groundbreaking book represents the state of knowledge on this crucial topic. Violence in Mental Health Settings brings together salient theories, valuable data, and real-world interventions in one accessible volume. The contributors include psychiatrists, nurses, researchers, and academics (many affiliated with the European Violence in Psychiatry Research Group), offering an integrative context for understanding patient aggression and identifying areas where research is lacking. Chapters review the latest theories of violence, proven prevention strategies, and examples of positive organizational change. Practical highlights include: -Assessing and measuring risk: self- versus other-reporting scales -How the ward environment can contribute to violence-or its prevention -Best practice guidelines for verbal, physical, and pharmaceutical interventions -Training issues and course development in violence management -Professional coping after patient attacks -Developing a non-violent culture at the institutional level Throughout, the material is illustrated liberally with graphs and clinical case examples, and coverage bridges the patient-rights and zero-tolerance ends of the spectrum. Therapists, nurses, social workers, and counselors in hospitals and other inpatient and community facilities will find Violence in Mental Health Settings a source of vital insights and ideas for future policy. Regardless of one's setting or specialty, the authors share a critical aim with their readers: a safer and more humane experience.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

From the reviews:

"Violence in Mental Health Settings, is aimed at educating the reader in research into violence in mental health settings and does so very well. … It includes practical recommendations and will be useful to anyone working in an impatient setting. … If you read … you will get a good overall view of where to start in dealing with violence and managing future risk of violence." (Dr. Sarah Gladden, The Psychologist, October, 2007)

"This edited text brings together many well-known authors, giving a truly international flavour to the subject matter. … It gives the reader a wealth of evidence in relation to theories, interventions and data on violence in mental heath settings. The depth and detail of this text is a strength … . Individual chapters are extremely informative … . editors make the claim that this text is aimed at therapists, nurses, social workers and counsellors. … should be read by those looking to develop future policy." (Tracey Cassidy, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 2007)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780387339641
  • Publisher: Springer New York
  • Publication date: 11/2/2006
  • Edition description: 2006
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 347
  • Product dimensions: 9.21 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Whittington, PhD, is a senior lecturer in the School of Health Sciences, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom. He is a psychologist and researcher with a background as a mental health nurse in intensive care and general acute psychiatric settings. He has published widely on the psychological and social causes and effects of aggression in mental health care. Current projects include systematic reviews of risk assessment and interventions in forensic mental health funded by the UK NHS R&D programme.

Dirk Richter, PhD, nurse (with working experience in mental health) and sociologist, currently researcher and quality manager at Westphalian Hospital in Muenster, Germany, and associate professor ('Privatdozent') at the Institute of Sociology, University of Muenster. In German, Dirk Richter has authored and edited three books on violence in health care. He has co-authored a widely spread booklet on conflict management in psychiatric settings and has written several research papers and book chapters on the topic. Dirk Richter has also published in fields such as social psychiatry, evaluation and quality management, medical philosophy, nursing science, social theory and nationalism research. His last book on the sociology of mental disorders in the era of life sciences has been published in 2003(in German).

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Table of Contents


A. Measurement and epidemiology

1. Assessing aggression of psychiatric patients: Methods of measurement and its prevalence.

Nijman, Bjorkly, Palmstierna & Almvik

B. The psychology and sociology of the violent incident

2. Psychological theories of aggression: principles and application to practice


3. From the individual to the interpersonal: Environment and interaction in the escalation of violence in mental health settings

Whittington & Richter

4. Users’ Perceptions and Views on Violence and Coercion in Mental Health

Abderhalden, Hahn, Bonner & Galeazzi

C. Prediction and management

5. Diversity and consistency in the legal management of involuntary admission and treatment across Europe

Hatling, Douzenis & Maguire

6. Prediction of Violence in Inpatient Settings


7. Non-physical conflict management and de-escalation


8. Coercive measures in the management of imminent violence: restraint,

seclusion and enhanced observation

Whittington, Baskind & Paterson

9. The pharmacological management of aggression.

Goedhard, Stolker, Heerdink, Nijman, Olivier & Egberts

D. Improving staff skills in handling incidents

10. Aggression management training programs: Contents, implementation and organization


11. The effects of aggression management training for mental health care and disability care staff: A systematic review

Richter, Needham & Kunz

E. The organisational context

12. Locating training within a strategic organizational response to aggression and violence

McKenna & Paterson

13. Safety and security in psychiatric clinical environments


14. Ward culture and atmosphere

Duxbury, Bjorkdahl & Johnson

F. Consequences: handling the aftermath

15. Psychological responses following exposure to violence



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