Patient Assaults on Psychiatric Residents: The Canadian Experience
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There have been fairly limited reports in the literature of assaults on residents in psychiatric facilities. Assaults on residents and staff tend to be underreported and, for a variety of reasons, not adequately dealt with by the administration. For this reason, security in psychiatric facilities may be lacking in many instances. In order to prepare a position paper of guidelines specifying minimum security requirements for psychiatric facilities in Canada, the Residents' Section of the Canadian Psychiatric Association gathered data on this issue from psychiatric residents. We present the results of a questionnaire sent to all psychiatric residents who are members of the Canadian Psychiatric Association. Results indicate that 40.2% of residents have been assaulted at least once. We present some interesting findings that relate to the residents' perception of their training and the appropriateness of the facilities for assessing patients. Requests for improved security were made by 36.9% of the residents, but only 22.9% of this group found the response by acceptable. Some of the residents' explanations for the assaults suggest interesting dynamics. These and other findings suggest an urgent need to address this issue.
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