Aims: To assess the relation between violence prevention policies and work related assault.
Methods: From Phase 1 of the Minnesota Nurses’ Study, a population based survey of 6300 Minnesota nurses (response 79%), 13.2% reported experiencing work related physical assault in the past year. In Phase 2, a case-control study, 1900 nurses (response 75%) were questioned about exposures relevant to violence, including eight work related violence prevention policy items. A comprehensive causal model served as a basis for survey design, analyses, and interpretation. Sensitivity analyses were conducted for potential exposure misclassification and the presence of an unmeasured confounder.
Results: Results of multiple regression analyses, controlling for appropriate factors, indicated that the odds of physical assault decreased for having a zero tolerance policy (OR = 0.5, 95% CI 0.4 to 0.8) and having policies regarding types of prohibited violent behaviours (OR = 0.5, 95% CI 0.3 to 0.9). Analyses adjusted for non-response and non-selection resulted in wider confidence intervals, but no substantial change in effect estimates.
Conclusions: It appears that some work related violence policies may be protective for the population of Minnesota nurses.
- occupational violence
- physical assault
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Funding: Support for this effort was provided, in part, by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (R03 OH07373 and R01 OH03438) and the Regional Injury Prevention Research Center and Center for Violence Prevention and Control, Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Competing interests: none declared
Portions of this paper were presented at the American Public Health Association Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 2002 (Best Paper Award, Student Paper Competition), the Minnesota Health Services Research Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 2003, and the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 2003