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Understanding reasons for anger or aggression

As well as the clinical and social factors underlying aggression, the individual’s specific situation has to be considered. The person may have experienced (or perceive that they have experienced) personal criticism, restriction or control, unfair treatment, frustration of intentions or the irritating behaviour of others. Nurses, therefore, need to be aware of what is happening both on the ward in general and for the patient in particular, and may be contributing to their anger. Stressors might also include staff behaviours. Wright et al report that research shows violent incidents to be more likely when there is aversive stimulation from staff in terms of imposing limits or frustrating requests.

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