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Perceptions of Australasian emergency department staff of the impact of alcohol-related presentations

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Alcohol-related presentations are common in emergency departments (EDs) throughout Australia and New Zealand. Two point prevalence surveys indicate that one in eight presentations to EDs are alcohol-related.1,2

ED clinicians are at the forefront of responding to the consequences of alcohol-related harm. Verbal and physical violence and aggression are common in EDs, with adverse effects on staff wellbeing and job satisfaction.3 As little is known about this problem in the local context, our study surveyed perceptions of clinical staff of alcohol-related presentations to Australasian EDs. The study had two main objectives: to quantify the scale of the problem of alcohol-related violence experienced by ED staff, and to assess their perceptions of the effects of alcohol-related presentations on the functioning of the ED.

Methods

A mixed methods, cross-sectional online survey was developed after undertaking a literature search, and refined by the consensus of an expert steering committee. Definitions for verbal and physical aggression were taken from the Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL) Longitudinal Survey (http://mabel.org.au/) (

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