To conduct a survey on the frequency and severity of assaults by patients on psychiatric trainees, and the availability of training on managing violent patients; a self-report questionnaire developed in the USA was adapted to the Flemish situation. Data were collected from 99 psychiatric trainees from the Dutch speaking part of Belgium, representing a 60% response rate.
As many as 56% of the respondents had been confronted with at least one physical assault by a patient during their residency, whereas 72% had already been threatened by a patient. Only a small minority had received any training related to patient violence.
Some formal teaching or training in managing (potentially) violent patients should be incorporated in psychiatric training in Flanders.
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