Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 40, Issue 11, November 2011

Aggressive behaviour Prevention and management in the general practice environment

Moira G Sim Toni Wain Eric Khong
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Aggressive behaviour is commonly encountered in the general practice setting and can often be de-escalated using good communication skills.
This article provides strategies to reduce and manage early aggression in the general practice environment.
Aggressive behaviour usually occurs when a person feels unfairly treated. Having a systematic approach to the problem can improve safety for both staff and patients. This includes patient centred practice, identifying and managing the early signs of aggression to prevent escalation, having a plan to seek assistance if required, setting limits using a calm respectful manner and reinforcing limits using behaviour contracts when required. The physical layout of the practice and restraint of aggressive people are beyond the scope of this article.

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