Prevention and management of aggression in mental health: An interdisciplinary discussion

Brendon Stubbs*, Geoff Dickens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Health-care professionals working in mental health settings are at risk of encountering violent and aggressive behaviour from patients, which can have a detrimental effect on their physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being. Prevention and management of aggression and violence is therefore a priority. However, unlike their nursing colleagues, allied health professionals are not routinely taught such strategies in their pre-registration training.

Methods: This article describes and critically explores violence prevention and management strategies under three headings: psychological, physical and pharmacological interventions. This is intended as a discussion article to introduce and update allied health-care professions in this area, assist them in identifying their own training needs, and allow them to have a greater role in multidisciplinary planning and discussion relating to aggression and violence in mental health settings.

Conclusions: Focused and consistent training during pre-registration programmes, particularly in psychological interventions to de-escalate potentially violent scenarios could benefit allied health professionals who go on to work in mental health settings. Future research should address the efficacy of all types of interventions aimed at reducing aggression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-356
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


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