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Article   |    
Preventing Assaults on a Psychiatric Inpatient Ward
Alan R. Felthous
Psychiatric Services 1984; doi:
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University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, Texas 77550

1984 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Although appropriate evaluation, management, and treatment of violence-prone patients will tend to reduce the incidence of aggressive acts on a psychiatric ward, such measures are not enough to prevent eruptions of violence. The author discusses several specific preventive steps that staff of psychiatric units can take to reduce the likelihood that assaults will occur: forming and maintaining a social norm against violence, recognizing and managing countertransferential reactions among both staff and patients, ensuring responsible involvement by psychiatrists during violent incidents, thoroughly assessing a patient's potential for assault, and paying prompt attention to the significance of an assault for the involved patient, other patients, and staff.

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