Nursing Diagnosis for Violence

Violence Definition

Violence can be defined in many ways. The World Health Organisation (WHO) promotes a broad definition of violence:

The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation.

The definition should be understood to include physical, sexual and psychological abuse (such as the significant abuse of power arising from a dependent relationship, threats, intimidation and neglect).

Violence can result in psychological and social problems as well as physical problems, all of which are of concern to communities and place considerable burdens on the health, social and justice systems. This definition recognises that the outcomes of violence are broader than physical injury, disability or death and demonstrates that violence is not only an issue of concern to Police and the justice sector, but to the social sector as a whole.

A discussion of types of violence follows, but for the purposes of this Action Plan, the WHO definition has been adapted and the focus is on two key types of violence, community violence and sexual violence.

Nursing Diagnosis for Violence

Related To
  • Acute agitation
  • Poor impluse coordination
  • Mania
  • Feelings of helplessness

As evidenced by

Major: (Must be present) :
  • History of harm to others
  • Destruction of property
  • Overt aggressive acts

Minor: (May be present)
  • Acute agitation
  • Suspiciousness
  • Persecutory delusions
  • Inflexible
  • Verbal threats of physical assault
  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Poor impulse control
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Excessively controlled


The patient will:
  • Experience control of behavior with assistance from others.
  • Describe causation and possible preventative measures.

Nursing Interventions for Violence
  • Assess patient's potential for violence and past history.
  • Maintain patient's personal space, (i.e. allow 5 times greater space than that for individual in control).
  • Decrease noise level.
  • Provide environment that provides safety and reduces agitation:
  • Acknowledge feelings.
  • Explore the precipitating event.

Nursing Diagnosis

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