A comparative study of the experiences of violence of English and Swedish mental health nurses

Peter Nolan, J Soares, J Dallender, S Thomsen, B Arnetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies suggest that violence in health care environments, especially mental health care, appears to be increasing. Although there is a lack of cross-cultural studies to prove it, this increase in violence would seem to be an international phenomenon. The present study sought to compare the extent and nature of violence encountered by mental health nurses in Sweden and England. Systematic studies of violence have previously been carried out independently in both countries but this was the first attempt to compare levels of violence. Clearly defined study protocols were put in place, an operational definition of 'violence' adhered to, and random samples recruited. A specially designed questionnaire was sent to every subject (Swedish nurses n = 720; English nurses n = 296) enquiring about the extent of nurses' exposure to violence, the nature and severity of the violence experienced, and the effect of violence on self-esteem and job satisfaction. Significant differences were found with English nurses experiencing more violence than their Swedish counterparts. Yet support for English nurses appeared to be less good than for Swedish nurses. Reasons for the differences are discussed along with possible measures to minimise the frequency of violence against nurses and the negative effects on their work. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-426
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2001


  • violence in the workplace
  • violence and self-esteem
  • violence and job satisfaction
  • mental health nurses


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