Patients aggression towards nurses on psychiatric wards

*Lucia Dimunová, **Alžbeta Žemličková
* Pavol Jozef Safarik University in Kosice, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing
** Psychiatric Hospital of Samuel Blum in Plešivec


DIMUNOVÁ, L. – ŽEMLIČKOVÁ, A. Patients aggression towards nurses on psychiatric wards. In Ošetrovateľstvo: teória, výskum, vzdelávanie [online], 2019, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 31-35. Available on:

Aim: To determine the incidence rate of forms of inpatient aggression towards nurses.

Methodology and sample: Data collection was implemented by means of the self-assessment scale: Violence and Aggression of Patients Scale (VAPS). The sample comprised 219 nurses, who working on psychiatric wards in Slovakia.

Results: Of the total sample, 97.2 % of nurses had personal experience of various forms of aggression over the past year of their profession. Most often, nurses reported the frequency of verbal attacks by patients (96.8%). 83.1 % of nurses reported physical aggression without the use of assault weapons. 22.8 % of nurses declared aggression with the use of assault weapons and contact forms of sexual aggression. The relationship between experience of patient aggression and level of education was not proved to be significant.

Conclusion: The incidence of patient aggression towards nurses is a significant risk factor for nurses' working environments, which should continue to be addressed.

Keywords: patient aggression, forms of aggression, nurses, psychiatric workplaces

Full text (Slovak language)


doc. PhDr. Lucia Dimunová, PhD.
UPJŠ V Košiciach, Lekárska fakulta, Ústav ošetrovateľstva
Tr. SNP č. 1
040 11 Košice
Slovenská republika

Received: 28th March 2019
Accepted: 16th May 2019