Healthcare providers' neurobiological response to workplace violence perpetrated by consumers

Informing directions for staff well-being

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims: To examine the neurobiological response experienced by healthcare workers when exposed to workplace violence perpetrated by consumers, with a view to informing future training and self-care strategies for staff well-being. Background: Considerable work has been undertaken internationally to identify the causes of workplace violence and to develop legislation and guidance for reducing the risk in healthcare. However, there is a gap in understanding workers' innate neurobiological response to workplace violence, and how to prepare staff to recognise the professional and self-care implications of such a response. Design: This explanatory study was part of a larger descriptive study. Methods: Individual and group interviews were conducted with managers, directors, health/safety staff, nurses and educators (n = 99) from rural and metropolitan health services in Australia. Inductive thematic analysis was conducted, followed by in depth analysis to answer the question: what neurobiological response could be occurring when healthcare workers experience workplace violence? The analytical framework was informed by polyvagal theory. Results: With the increased risk of threat to physical and personal safety in the workplace, healthcare workers may experience activation of the fight, flight or freeze response, affecting their wellbeing and performance at work and at home. Participants recognised a need to care for themselves and understand their own reactions, so that they could better address the needs of consumers. Conclusions: Education for health care workers should include knowledge of the neurobiological responses to threat, and techniques to increase their capacity to identify, and manage their responses. An understanding of trauma-informed care for staff, will enable them to recognise the cumulative effects of workplace violence, and identify strategies to manage their well-being. Relevance to clinical practice: Information about the body's neurobiological response to stressors that threaten physiological and psychological safety can assist healthcare providers to better understand how to respond to workplace violence and aggression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-48
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Nursing Research
Volume43
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • Defense cascade
  • Healthcare
  • Occupational
  • Polyvagal
  • Qualitative research
  • Resilience
  • Stress response
  • Trauma
  • Violence
  • Workplace

Cite this

@article{77fcef1cd4634251902b126baf5a2904,
title = "Healthcare providers' neurobiological response to workplace violence perpetrated by consumers: Informing directions for staff well-being",
abstract = "Aims: To examine the neurobiological response experienced by healthcare workers when exposed to workplace violence perpetrated by consumers, with a view to informing future training and self-care strategies for staff well-being. Background: Considerable work has been undertaken internationally to identify the causes of workplace violence and to develop legislation and guidance for reducing the risk in healthcare. However, there is a gap in understanding workers' innate neurobiological response to workplace violence, and how to prepare staff to recognise the professional and self-care implications of such a response. Design: This explanatory study was part of a larger descriptive study. Methods: Individual and group interviews were conducted with managers, directors, health/safety staff, nurses and educators (n = 99) from rural and metropolitan health services in Australia. Inductive thematic analysis was conducted, followed by in depth analysis to answer the question: what neurobiological response could be occurring when healthcare workers experience workplace violence? The analytical framework was informed by polyvagal theory. Results: With the increased risk of threat to physical and personal safety in the workplace, healthcare workers may experience activation of the fight, flight or freeze response, affecting their wellbeing and performance at work and at home. Participants recognised a need to care for themselves and understand their own reactions, so that they could better address the needs of consumers. Conclusions: Education for health care workers should include knowledge of the neurobiological responses to threat, and techniques to increase their capacity to identify, and manage their responses. An understanding of trauma-informed care for staff, will enable them to recognise the cumulative effects of workplace violence, and identify strategies to manage their well-being. Relevance to clinical practice: Information about the body's neurobiological response to stressors that threaten physiological and psychological safety can assist healthcare providers to better understand how to respond to workplace violence and aggression.",
keywords = "Defense cascade, Healthcare, Occupational, Polyvagal, Qualitative research, Resilience, Stress response, Trauma, Violence, Workplace",
author = "Jill Beattie and Kelli Innes and Debra Griffiths and Julia Morphet",
year = "2018",
month = "10",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.apnr.2018.06.019",
language = "English",
volume = "43",
pages = "42--48",
journal = "Applied Nursing Research",
issn = "0897-1897",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Healthcare providers' neurobiological response to workplace violence perpetrated by consumers

T2 - Informing directions for staff well-being

AU - Beattie, Jill

AU - Innes, Kelli

AU - Griffiths, Debra

AU - Morphet, Julia

PY - 2018/10/1

Y1 - 2018/10/1

N2 - Aims: To examine the neurobiological response experienced by healthcare workers when exposed to workplace violence perpetrated by consumers, with a view to informing future training and self-care strategies for staff well-being. Background: Considerable work has been undertaken internationally to identify the causes of workplace violence and to develop legislation and guidance for reducing the risk in healthcare. However, there is a gap in understanding workers' innate neurobiological response to workplace violence, and how to prepare staff to recognise the professional and self-care implications of such a response. Design: This explanatory study was part of a larger descriptive study. Methods: Individual and group interviews were conducted with managers, directors, health/safety staff, nurses and educators (n = 99) from rural and metropolitan health services in Australia. Inductive thematic analysis was conducted, followed by in depth analysis to answer the question: what neurobiological response could be occurring when healthcare workers experience workplace violence? The analytical framework was informed by polyvagal theory. Results: With the increased risk of threat to physical and personal safety in the workplace, healthcare workers may experience activation of the fight, flight or freeze response, affecting their wellbeing and performance at work and at home. Participants recognised a need to care for themselves and understand their own reactions, so that they could better address the needs of consumers. Conclusions: Education for health care workers should include knowledge of the neurobiological responses to threat, and techniques to increase their capacity to identify, and manage their responses. An understanding of trauma-informed care for staff, will enable them to recognise the cumulative effects of workplace violence, and identify strategies to manage their well-being. Relevance to clinical practice: Information about the body's neurobiological response to stressors that threaten physiological and psychological safety can assist healthcare providers to better understand how to respond to workplace violence and aggression.

AB - Aims: To examine the neurobiological response experienced by healthcare workers when exposed to workplace violence perpetrated by consumers, with a view to informing future training and self-care strategies for staff well-being. Background: Considerable work has been undertaken internationally to identify the causes of workplace violence and to develop legislation and guidance for reducing the risk in healthcare. However, there is a gap in understanding workers' innate neurobiological response to workplace violence, and how to prepare staff to recognise the professional and self-care implications of such a response. Design: This explanatory study was part of a larger descriptive study. Methods: Individual and group interviews were conducted with managers, directors, health/safety staff, nurses and educators (n = 99) from rural and metropolitan health services in Australia. Inductive thematic analysis was conducted, followed by in depth analysis to answer the question: what neurobiological response could be occurring when healthcare workers experience workplace violence? The analytical framework was informed by polyvagal theory. Results: With the increased risk of threat to physical and personal safety in the workplace, healthcare workers may experience activation of the fight, flight or freeze response, affecting their wellbeing and performance at work and at home. Participants recognised a need to care for themselves and understand their own reactions, so that they could better address the needs of consumers. Conclusions: Education for health care workers should include knowledge of the neurobiological responses to threat, and techniques to increase their capacity to identify, and manage their responses. An understanding of trauma-informed care for staff, will enable them to recognise the cumulative effects of workplace violence, and identify strategies to manage their well-being. Relevance to clinical practice: Information about the body's neurobiological response to stressors that threaten physiological and psychological safety can assist healthcare providers to better understand how to respond to workplace violence and aggression.

KW - Defense cascade

KW - Healthcare

KW - Occupational

KW - Polyvagal

KW - Qualitative research

KW - Resilience

KW - Stress response

KW - Trauma

KW - Violence

KW - Workplace

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85049328332&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.apnr.2018.06.019

DO - 10.1016/j.apnr.2018.06.019

M3 - Article

VL - 43

SP - 42

EP - 48

JO - Applied Nursing Research

JF - Applied Nursing Research

SN - 0897-1897

ER -