Examining the utility of the Violence Prevention Climate scale: In a metropolitan Australian general hospital

Scott Brunero*, Scott Lamont, Sarah Dunn, Wayne Varndell, Geoffrey L. Dickens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


Aim and objectives:
To evaluate and examine the utility of the Violence Prevention Climate scale by generalist healthcare professionals.

Workplace violence in general hospital settings remains a challenge for healthcare organisations. High rates of violence are still being reported towards healthcare workers, despite organisational violence prevention strategies being implemented. There is a major challenge to healthcare organisation in the measurement of the effectiveness of these interventions, traditionally completed via the reporting and monitoring of workplace violent incidents. A novel approach to measuring workplace violence is by studying hospital atmosphere or climate.

A cross‐sectional survey using the STARD guidelines was used.

The Violence Prevention Climate scale was completed by 194 healthcare staff working in the emergency department, medical/surgical wards, respiratory/infectious disease, spinal care, renal unit, corrections health, and rehabilitation and community services of a major Australian tertiary referral hospital. The Violence Prevention Climate scale has previously been validated and used in mental health settings, but not general hospital settings. A content analysis of an open‐ended question on violence prevention management strategies was also conducted.

Comprising of 14 items with two factors (patients and staff), the study revealed a 9‐item staff factor scale that can be used in the general hospital setting, the patient factor did not show adequate reliability. The content analysis revealed seven categories of staff identified violence prevention and management strategies.

The use of the 9‐item scale across an organisation annually, or added to existing organisational workforce surveys, could prove to be practical way of measuring the social climate of violence in a general hospital setting.

Relevance to clinical practice:
The results of which could guide clinical practice, workplace safety, policy and educational initiatives for the prevention and management of workplace violence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2399-2408
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number15-16
Early online date19 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021


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