Title. Characterizing violence in health care in British Columbia.
Background. The high rate of violence in the healthcare sector supports the need for greater surveillance efforts.
Aim. The purpose of this study was to use a province-wide workplace incident reporting system to calculate rates and identify risk factors for violence in the British Columbia healthcare industry by occupational groups, including nursing.
Methods. Data were extracted for a 1-year period (2004–2005) from the Workplace Health Indicator Tracking and Evaluation database for all employee reports of violence incidents for four of the six British Columbia health authorities. Risk factors for violence were identified through comparisons of incident rates (number of incidents/100,000 worked hours) by work characteristics, including nursing occupations and work units, and by regression models adjusted for demographic factors.
Results. Across health authorities, three groups at particularly high risk for violence were identified: very small healthcare facilities [rate ratios (RR) = 6·58, 95% CI =3·49, 12·41], the care aide occupation (RR = 10·05, 95% CI = 6·72, 15·05), and paediatric departments in acute care hospitals (RR = 2·22, 95% CI = 1·05, 4·67).
Conclusions. The three high-risk groups warrant targeted prevention or intervention efforts be implemented. The identification of high-risk groups supports the importance of a province-wide surveillance system for public health planning.