Hvidhjelm, Jacob2; Sestoft, Dorte2; Bjørner, Jakob Bue3
1 Section of Social Medicine, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 unknown3 Section of Social Medicine, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the underreporting of violence and aggression on the Staff Observation Aggression Scale-Revised (SOAS-R) when compared to a simpler assessment: the Aggression Observation Short Form (AOS). During a period of one year, two open and two closed wards gathered data on both the SOAS-R and the AOS for all of their patients. The 22-item SOAS-R is to be filled out after each violent episode. The 3-item AOS is to be filled out during each shift and should also record the absence of violence. The SOAS-R registered 703 incidents and the AOS registered 1,281 incidents. The agreement between the SOAS-R and the AOS was good (kappa = 0.65, 95% CI = 0.62-0.67). Among the 1,281 AOS episodes, 51% were also registered on the SOAS-R. For the 176 AOS episodes with harm, 42% were also registered on the SOAS-R. We found 44% missing registrations on the AOS, primarily for open wards and for patients with short admission lengths. Standard instruments such as the SOAS-R underreport aggressive episodes by 45% or more. Underreporting can be reduced by introducing shorter instruments, but it cannot be completely eliminated.
Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 2014, Vol 35, Issue 6, p. 464-9