What is it about?

This study looks at the evidence base available for managing aggressive and violent patients who present to the Emergency Department. This is a universal problem and one which is continuing to grow and affect health professionals across a range of settings. The study looks at published reviews, and the levels of evidence apparent in existing studies, considering how robust this is, and the range of interventions that are linked to evidence of effectiveness. The focus is on non pharmacological responses and interventions that can be applied in an acute care setting.

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Why is it important?

There is a need to ensure that practice is based on sound interventions, and as health professionals that we respond effectively to the situations we face. While staff working in emergency situations need to be able to flexible and innovative, it is important to use interventions with the highest likelihood of success. Currently, there is very limited evidence underpinning many of the commonly suggested approaches.


Health workers need to be able to incorporate effective and efficient techniques into their practice, and given the limited evidence regarding the management of violence and aggression in the setting of emergency department care, there needs to be a way to strengthen the current knowledge base. Staff need to recognise the significance of developing practical, relevant approaches that can also generate evidence for future understanding of best practice.

Dr Sandra Kathryn Richardson
University of Canterbury

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Management of the aggressive emergency department patient: non-pharmacological perspectives and evidence base, Open Access Emergency Medicine, November 2019, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.2147/oaem.s192884.
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