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Worksite Walkthrough Intervention: Data-driven Prevention of Workplace Violence on Hospital Units

Hamblin, Lydia E. PhD; Essenmacher, Lynnette MPH; Luborsky, Mark PhD; Russell, Jim BSN; Janisse, James PhD; Upfal, Mark MD, MPH; Arnetz, Judith PhD, MPH, PT

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: September 2017 - Volume 59 - Issue 9 - p 875–884
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001081
Original Articles

Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the implementation of a data-driven, unit-based walkthrough intervention shown to be effective in reducing the risk of workplace violence in hospitals.

Methods: A structured worksite walkthrough was conducted on 21 hospital units. Unit-level workplace violence data were reviewed and a checklist of possible prevention strategies and an Action Plan form guided development of unit-specific intervention. Unit supervisor perceptions of the walkthrough and implemented prevention strategies were reported via questionnaires. Prevention strategies were categorized as environmental, behavioral, or administrative.

Results: A majority of units implemented strategies within 12 months’ postintervention. Participants found the walkthrough useful, practical, and worthy of continued use.

Conclusions: Structured worksite walkthroughs provide a feasible method for workplace violence reduction in hospitals. Core elements are standardized yet flexible, promoting fidelity and transferability of this intervention.

Department of Family Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan (Drs Hamblin, Judith Arnetz); Detroit Medical Center, Occupational Health Services, Detroit, Michigan (Ms Essenmacher, Mr Russell, Dr Upfal); Institute of Gerontology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan (Dr Luborsky); Department of Neurobiology, Caring Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden (Dr Luborsky); Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan (Dr Janisse); Department of Emergency Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan (Dr Upfal), Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden (Dr Arnetz); and Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden (Dr Arnetz).

Address correspondence to: Judith Arnetz, PhD, MPH, PT, Department of Family Medicine, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, 788 Service Rd., B103 Clinical Center, East Lansing, MI 48824 (

This study was funded by The Centers for Disease Control-National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health [CDC-NIOSH], grant number R01 OH009948. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of CDC-NIOSH.

The authors have no competing interests/conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2017 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine