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Risk assessment tool helps predict patient violence


Using a specially designed risk assessment tool can be an effective way of identifying violent patients, according to a US study involving 2,063 people admitted to an acute care hospital over a five-month period.

Researchers developed the 10-point “Aggressive Behaviour Risk Assessment Tool” (ABRAT), which was completed by nurses for each patient within 24 hours of admission and produced a risk rating.

The authors said 56 patients were involved in one or more violent verbal or physical incidents.

Less than 1% of the patients with an ABRAT score of zero became violent, compared with 8% of the patients with a score of one and 41% of the patients with a score of two or more.

The five most common predictors of violence were: confusion/cognitive impairment, anxiety, agitation, shouting/demanding and a history of physical aggression.


Readers' comments (4)


    Risk assessments have their place ,but what about common sense. a nurse should have the ability to talk to a patient when they are getting upset and have the ability to see that a simple apology regarding a miss perception of a situation has arisen. one little kind word from a knowledgeable nurse , or for that matter any member of the NHS ,would go a long way to stop any violence. Patients these days feel that they have rights and whose fault is that. The Patients Charter has educated them into thinking they only have to ask and they believe that it is law. they have not been advised that their needs are the paramount aspect of their ongoing care and not their wants. .

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  • I have tried Googling this tool but can't seem to find it. I just keep finding information on how wonderful it is but not the tool itself. Is it just me?! It's like being given a piece of equipment but no instructions!!!

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  • Anonymous | 24-Oct-2011 10:53 am

    I Googled using just the title below as the keyword and it bought up several articles including the one below by one of the people who helped develop it

    Aggressive Behaviour Risk Assessment Tool” (ABRAT)

    your search may be because of the Google Filter Bubble which I only discovered recently which collects data from all previous searches any individual makes and then by a set of alogithms forms a pattern of their main interests and then any future search is adjusted accordingly which can be very restricting but prevent hundreds of webaddresses to scroll through - not a perfect tool but Google Scholar searches can be more selective. This filter also means that no two people will get the same results from their keyword search.

    I suspect if you want to access the content of the tool it may not yet have been published and has to be purchased by your organisation

    you may try also

    A handbook
    for workplaces
    Prevention and management
    of aggression in health services
    December 2009

    If you want to consult the full study in the JAN linked to above you can get it from a library or possibly free online through the RCN online library.

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