Background Aggressive and violent behaviour by
patients, or their relatives or friends,
toward general practice staff is a matter
of national concern. Forms of this
behaviour include verbal and physical
abuse, property damage, theft, stalking,
sexual harassment and sexual abuse.
Discussion Australian data investigating patient
initiated aggression and violence in
general practice are limited. Findings
should be interpreted with caution due
to methodological limitations. The lack
of national data needs to be addressed.
Results Four regional Australian studies and
one national New Zealand study
were identified for comparison. These
studies provided varied data on the
prevalence of patient aggression and
violence perpetrated toward general
practitioners. None of the quantitative
studies included other general practice
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