Understanding Reporting of Type II Workplace Violence Among Home Health Care Nurses

Ha Do Byon, Xiaoyue Liu, Mary Crandall, Jane Lipscomb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Home health care nurses (HHNs) work alone in patients’ homes. They experience high rates of Type II (client/patient-on-worker) workplace violence (WPV); however, little is known about the extent and factors of their reporting. Methods: A convenience sample of employees aged 18 years and older and working as an HHN or management staff were recruited from a U.S. nonprofit home health care agency. To describe the extent of reporting of WPV events, an HHN survey was conducted. To identify the barriers and facilitators to reporting, two HHN focus groups were conducted, and management key informant interviews were employed. Findings: We recruited 18 HHNs and five management staff into the study. Almost all HHNs reported to management the most serious forms of violence they experienced, and that HHNs reported WPV when they perceived that reporting was beneficial (alerting other nurses and management) and supported by management staff. However, they were unwilling to report when it was perceived as disadvantageous (reliving the trauma), discouraged (by a norm that experiencing violence is a part of the job), unachievable (unstandardized reporting process), and ambiguous (uncertain of what is reportable). Management staff perceived a lack of standardized reporting processes as a barrier when responding to HHNs’ reporting. Conclusion/Application to Practice: High reporting was related to strong support from management. Policies and procedures should clearly define WPV, the threshold for reporting, how to report, and how management will respond to the reports.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-421
Number of pages7
JournalWorkplace Health and Safety
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • barriers and facilitators
  • home health
  • home health care nurse
  • reporting
  • theory of planned behavior
  • underreporting
  • workplace violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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