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Scientific article
Open access
English

Experience of violence and attitudes of staff members towards coercion in psychiatric settings : observational study

Published inBJPsych open, vol. 10, no. 3, e80
Publication date2024-04-15
First online date2024-04-15
Abstract

Background. Among important dimensions related to the use of coercive measures, professionals’ attitude towards coercion is of particular interest. Little is known about how experiences of violence in the workplace might influence these attitudes.

Aims. The present study aimed to investigate potential correlates of attitudes towards coercion, especially experiences of violence in the workplace.

Method. Mental health professionals were contacted through an online survey to assess their attitudes towards coercion using the Staff Attitude to Coercion Scale (SACS). The three subscales of the SACS (critical, pragmatic and positive attitudes) were analysed in a multivariate multiple linear regression, using a set of covariates including experiences of violence in the workplace. We hypothesised that experience of violence in the workplace would correlate with less critical attitudes of staff members towards coercion.

Results. A total of 423 professionals were included in the regression analysis. Age, professional category, feeling of insecurity, having witnessed or used coercion, and the emotional burden associated with coercive measures had a joint significant effect on the three SACS subscales. A feeling of insecurity, but not the experience of violence, was associated with a less critical, more positive appraisal of coercive measures. The emotional burden related to the use of coercion was associated with a more critical attitude.

Conclusions. The present results highlight the importance of considering staff members’ training and well-being regarding their feelings of insecurity when addressing attitudes towards coercion. The experience of patients should be integrated into staff training and coercion reduction programmes.

eng
Keywords
  • Coercion
  • Attitudes
  • Violence
  • Staff training
  • In-patient psychiatry
Citation (ISO format)
WULLSCHLEGER, Alexandre et al. Experience of violence and attitudes of staff members towards coercion in psychiatric settings : observational study. In: BJPsych open, 2024, vol. 10, n° 3, p. e80. doi: 10.1192/bjo.2024.29
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ISSN of the journal2056-4724
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