A Systematic Review of Patient and Family Violent Behaviour in Saudi Arabian Emergency Units


  • Ali AlShehri




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.

Author Biography

Ali AlShehri

M.Sc. in Nursing from Salford University, U.K, Nursing & Quality Department, KAMAH, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia