Expecting the unexpected: A mixed methods study of violence to EMS responders in an urban fire department

Source: Jennifer A. Taylor, Brittany Barnes, Andrea L. Davis, Jasmine Wright, Shannon Widman and Michael LeVasseur, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Early View, Article first published online: January 4, 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Background: Struck by injuries experienced by females were observed to be higher compared to males in an urban fire department. The disparity was investigated while gaining a grounded understanding of EMS responder experiences from patient-initiated violence.

Methods: A convergent parallel mixed methods design was employed. Using a linked injury dataset, patient-initiated violence estimates were calculated comparing genders. Semi-structured interviews and a focus group were conducted with injured EMS responders.

Results: Paramedics had significantly higher odds for patient-initiated violence injuries than firefighters. Females reported increased odds of patient-initiated violence injuries compared to males, but this relationship was entirely mediated through occupation. Qualitative data illuminated the impact of patient-initiated violence and highlighted important organizational opportunities for intervention.

Conclusions: Mixed methods greatly enhanced the assessment of EMS responder patient-initiated violence prevention.