• nursing;
  • occupational violence;
  • perception of aggression

Pazvantoğlu O, Gümüş K, Böke Ö, Yıldız İ, Şahin AR. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2011; 17: 495–501

Perception of patient aggression among nurses working in a university hospital in Turkey

The way patient aggression is perceived influences nurses' attitudes and behaviour towards patients. The aim of this cross-sectional, descriptive study was to investigate how nurses working in a university hospital perceive aggression and whether certain variables (sociodemographic and professional characteristics, exposure to aggressive behaviour) affect that perception. Two hundred and eighteen nurses (response rate 68.1%) from different departments were administered the Perception of Aggression Scale, a self-reported scale measuring perception of patient aggression towards nurses. The nurses in this study generally perceived patient aggression as dysfunctional. Nurses exposed to patient aggression in their professional lives regarded patient aggression more as dysfunctional. In addition, the oldest nurses, the most professionally experienced and those with the longest tenure in their departments had less perception of aggression as functional than others. Professional fatigue and burn-out might play a role in this.