Pages 16 (4016 words)
Introduction In Australia, mental health care has assumed a greater significance in the health care industry as the number of people with mental disorders is increasing day by day. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (2007, p. 7), in its National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, has identified that one in five Australians is likely to experience mental illness in any year.
In fact, the Australian Institute of Criminology has identified the health industry to be the most violent industry in the country, with registered nurses (RNs) recording the second highest number of violence-related workers compensation claims in year 1995 and 1996, ranking even higher than prison and police officers (Deans, 2004, p. 14). Patient violence on mental health care professionals not only leads to staff sickness and absenteeism but also to various psychological and mental distresses. Specific psychological problems include depression, anxiety, isolation, trauma (LeFlore & Bell, 2007, p. 147), post-traumatic stress disorders, loss of confidence, anger, fear, loss, distrust, and guilt (Whittington & Wykes, 1992; Doughty, 2005, p. 1). Understandably, these problems would adversely affect the therapeutic alliance between patients and HCPs (Watts & Morgan, 1994, p. 14; LeFlore & Bell, 2007, p. 147). In addition, this will also prevent optimal staff recruiting and retention of employees within the hospital (Doughty, 2005, p. 1). In a survey conducted by Duxbury & Whittington (2005, p. ...