Developing clinical practice guidelines for violence risk assessment at triage

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Project Details

The incidence of violence in health has increased in the past ten years, and risk assessment and prediction of violence at point of entry has become an extremely important component of triage practice. Consistency in risk assessment decision-making is problematic in triage services, as a standardised risk assessment tool is not currently in use across the state. Another factor impacting on the quality and consistency of violence risk assessment at triage is that triage nurse’s educational and professional preparation for meeting the specific complexities of this task are minimal, and lack a suitable evidence base. 

We seek to rectify this significant gap in evidence-based practice by developing Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) for violence risk assessment at triage. This project is significant because it seeks to enhance the evidence base used to prepare nurses to perform point of entry violence risk assessment, which maximises the potential for creating safer outcomes for service users, families and carers, health care workers, and the Victorian community. Given the incidence of occupational violence in health care settings, it is imperative that nurses performing point of entry violence risk assessment are well prepared with the best available evidence to underpin practice. 

The expected outcome of the project is to produce a decision-assist tool (CPG) to guide clinicians in the routine assessment of the risk of violence in service-users presenting at point of entry to health services (triage). The guideline aims to utilize the highest level of evidence to inform the early identification of risk factors for violence, and the initiation of appropriate service responses to prevent an actual incident of violence.


  • Dr Natisha Sands
  • Dr Marie Gertz
  • Associate Professor Stephen Elsom


Mona Menzies Post Doctoral Grant, Nurses Board of Victoria

Research Group

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Sensory Neuroscience, Practice and service improvement

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For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

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