Postincident support for healthcare workers experiencing occupational violence and aggression

Tracey Shea, Brian Cooper, Helen De Cieri, Cathy Sheehan, Ross Donohue, Sarah Lindsay

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To investigate the relative contributions of workplace type, occupational violence and aggression (OVA) strategies and interventions along with perceptions of the occupational health and safety (OHS) environment on the likelihood of receiving postincident support following the experience of OVA. Design: We used a cross-sectional study design with an online survey to collect data from employees in nursing and midwifery in Victoria, Australia. Methods: Survey data collected from 3,072 members of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victorian branch) were analyzed using logistic regression. Findings: Of the 3,072 respondents who had experienced OVA in the preceding 12 months, 1,287 (42%) reported that they had received postincident support. Hierarchical logistic regression revealed that the OHS environment was the dominant factor that predicted the likelihood of workers receiving postincident support. Working in a positive OHS environment characterized by higher levels of leading indicators of OHS, prioritization of OHS, supervisor support for safety, and team psychological safety was the stronger predictor of postincident support. Being employed in a workplace that offered training in the management and prevention of OVA also increased the likelihood of receiving postincident support. Conclusions: While training in the management and prevention of OVA contributed to the likelihood of receiving postincident support, a greater emphasis on the OHS environment was more important in predicting the likelihood that workers received support. Clinical Relevance: This study identifies workplace practices that facilitate the provision of postincident support for healthcare workers. Facilitating effective postincident support could improve outcomes for workers, their patients and workplaces, and society in general.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-352
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nursing Scholarship
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Nurses
  • occupational violence and aggression
  • postincident support

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