Validation of a Vignette Simulation of Assault on Nurses by Patients

Authors

  • Marilyn Lewis Lanza,

    Corresponding author
    1. Marilyn Lewis Lanza, RN, DNSc, CS, Eta Omega, Associate Chief, Nursing Service for Research, Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, Bedford, MA
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  • James Carifio,

    1. James Carifio, EdD, Associate Professor, Research Statistics and Psychology, University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Lowell, MA
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  • Ivor Pattison,

    1. Ivor Pattison, RN, M.Sc., Doctoral Fellow Boston College School of Nursing, Chestnut Hill, MA
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  • Carol Hicks

    1. Carol Hicks, RNC, BSN, Nursing Administrative Coordinator, Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital Bedford, MA. Supported by a grant from Sigma Theta Tau Eta Omega Chapter, University of Massachusetts Lowell and the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital Bedford, MA.
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Dr. Lanza, Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, Bedford, MA 01730.

Abstract

Purpose: To determine the degree to which causal attribution (“blame”) scores obtained from written vignettes of assault incidents, simulations of reality, reflect results that would be obtained from victims of actual assaults.

Design: Correlational study. Data were collected, 1990–1993, from a convenience sample of 59 RNs who had been assaulted verbally or physically at one neuropsychiatric hospital in the United States.

Methods: Victims used the Causal Attribution Scale to assign blame for their assault. Three judges then used the same scale to attribute cause for the assault based on a written description of the assault by the victim.

Findings: No significant differences in mean causal attribution levels were found between victims and the average ratings for the three judges for mild or severe assaults, nor between victims, judges, and the response levels obtained in two previous vignette studies.

Conclusions: Mean causal attribution (“blame”) scores observed in simulations that are carefully constructed assault vignettes are nearly the same as those observed in actual assaults. Vignettes appear promising as a simulation to study actual or hypothetical responses to assault.

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