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The objective of this study was to develop an appropriate model of training for primary health care team members in the management of aggression and violence at work. A qualitative analysis of the videotaped interviews of primary health care team members was used to develop the content of a teaching package. The subjects comprised 44 interviewees working in primary care in 2 districts within the largest health region of the United Kingdom. The main outcome measures were the themes identified from the modified content analysis of interviews. Violence was perceived as occurring principally in connection with unmet demands for such things as prescriptions and referrals. Predisposing factors for aggression and violence include drink and drugs. Only patients are perceived as violent: health care workers use other terms to describe their feelings and responses. Staff have had little opportunity to train for the management of violence at work. What little tuition occurred was during basic training. It is important to identify the extent of aggression and violence in individual practices. However, such exploration will identify staff needs in terms of reducing the risks of aggressive events or responding to the consequence of episodes suffered. Qualitative examination of videotaped interviews in this way has facilitated the assessment of training needs in primary care. A tailored educational programme has been developed to respond to these needs.

Original publication




Journal article


Safety Science

Publication Date





223 - 230