Vers une prévention durable de la violence au travail et une prise en charge probante de ses répercussions dans les milieux de la santé


Steve Geoffrion

Université de Montréal


Domaine : santé des populations

Programme Bourses de carrière FRQ-IRSST en santé et en sécurité du travail - Junior 1

Concours 2019-2020


Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en Sécurité du travail (IRSST)

Psychiatric and youth protection workers are among the most vulnerable professional groups to workplace violence (WPV). Despite this fact, the scientific body of knowledge upon which WPV prevention and support programs are based remains limited. T

he proposed research program aims to fill key knowledge gaps with regards to VPW prevention strategies (Axis 1) and post-incident care interventions for employees victim of VPW (Axis 2). This program consists of three studies. Study 1 seeks to identify biopsychosocial risk factors in violent psychiatric patients to improve risk assessment practices. Indeed, violence risk assessment in psychiatric environments is far from optimal, because it omits several factors associated with aggressive behavior. Study 2 aims to identify the factors influencing the use of coercive measures (e.g. restraint) in youth protection centers. In this line of work, seclusion and restraints are often used to prevent or resolve violent incidents but the strain these measures place on relationships can also lead to an escalation of events. Moreover, this practice is currently not supported by scientific evidence. Study 3 evaluates the potential effectiveness of a psychological first-aid program for workers who have experienced WPV. Unfortunately, to this day, psychological debriefing is still the most frequently used post-incident intervention despite its proven inefficacy.

The psychological first aid approach appears to be a promising alternative, but its effectiveness remains unknown. The knowledge gained from this program will make it possible to develop and implement strategies to prevent WPV and manage its repercussions in health care settings. At the provincial level only, the results could be disseminated to all CIUSSS and CISSS and benefit more than 150,000 workers.