This study used surveys from 677 home healthcare aides and nurses to explore factors associated with assaults by patients. Among respondents, 4.6% reported one or more patient assaults (being hit, kicked, pinched, shoved, or bitten) during the past year. Logistic regression analysis examined associations between several potential risk factors and assaults. Three factors were significant, including having one or more patients with dementia (OR = 4.31, 95% CI 1.47–12.67), routinely handling patients (OR = 8.48, 95% CI 1.89–37.94), and perceiving threats of violence by others in and around patients' homes (OR = 4.45, 95% CI 1.75–11.32). Assaults were not significantly associated with worker age, gender, race, job title, hours of work, or use of needles during patient care. Assaulted workers and workers who perceived threats of violence by others were significantly more likely to have shortened home care visits. More detailed research is needed to confirm these results and evaluate methods to reduce assault risk.
1Traci Galinsky, PhD, is a research psychologist at NIOSH in Cincinnati, OH.
2Huiling Amy Feng, MS, is a statistician at NIOSH in Cincinnati, OH.
3Jessica Streit, MS, is a psychologist at NIOSH in Cincinnati, OH.
4W. Brightwell, BS, is a research biologist at NIOSH in Cincinnati, OH.
5Kellie Pierson, MS, is a research psychologist at NIOSH in Cincinnati, OH.
6Kelley Parsons, PhD, is a former research psychologist at NIOSH in Cincinnati, OH.
7Christina Proctor, MS, is a former research psychologist at NIOSH in Cincinnati, OH.
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