German-speaking Switzerland – Nearly one in three caregivers victims of violence in psychiatry

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A study by the University of Basel reveals the extent of the problem in Switzerland. Insults, sexual assault or physical violence, measures are requested.

BSIP via AFP

A study by the University of Basel shows that in one month, 73% of caregivers questioned (1128 people working in German-speaking Switzerland) had been victims of verbal violence at least once and 14% reported sexual violence. Less severe forms of physical violence affected 28% of them during this 30-day period. Almost a third of these professionals working in psychiatry say they have been seriously injured during their career, following an assault.

The study shows that the age, gender and workload of employees are directly related to the frequency with which they are confronted with such violence. The risk of verbal abuse of a sexual nature, for example, is particularly high in young women with a high employment rate, according to the results of this study.

The researchers point out that current prevention strategies, such as anger management training or alarm devices in wards, do not sufficiently reduce patient violence against healthcare workers in psychiatric wards. They therefore call for more effective measures at national and international level in order to better protect nursing staff.

(Comm / jba)