A Systematic Review of Patient and Family Violent Behaviour in Saudi Arabian Emergency Units
Keywords:Communication, Violent behaviour, Overcrowding, Waiting time, Staff shortage.
Background: Nurses working in emergency departments in Saudi Arabian hospitals have been affected by
violence at workplace instigated by patient or family. This gradually had significant impact on nurses’ job
satisfaction and security at work or affected their performance. Often this behaviour has been found to be
precipitated by certain factors.
Aim: Aim of this review is to assess the different factors causing violent behaviours among patients and
their families towards nurses in Emergency units and to suggest possible management strategies in reducing
such behaviours as well as assess its implications for Saudi Arabian nurses.
Methodology: This review considers selected studies related to violent behaviour of patients and their
family’s in emergency units of Saudi Arabia. It examines evidence of such factors identified by different
studies including overcrowding, waiting times, communication, and inability to meet patient’s needs and
staff shortages among others.
Findings: Findings from review indicate that strong policies are required to ensure patient overcrowding
in Saudi Arabian emergency units. Most patients consider ED as their first point of call whether it is an
emergency or not, thereby causing overcrowding and posing threat of staff shortage in such areascompared
to primary healthcare centres and hospitals.
Conclusions: Further studies recommend understanding reporting system for patients’ violent behaviour
in Saudi Arabia, and effectiveness of policies and actions taken to address such behaviours, which could
protect nurses at their workplace. The study is limited to studies of nurse’s perception of violent behaviour,
without considering patient’s data and their perception on such behaviour.