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.