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Personal defence training in a medium secure unit – a pilot study

Andy Mott (Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, Green Lane Hospital, Devizes, UK)
James Walton (Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, Green Lane Hospital, Devizes, UK)
Lee Harries (Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, Green Lane Hospital, Devizes, UK)
Penny Highfield (Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, Green Lane Hospital, Devizes, UK)
Anthony Bleetman (Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Kettering, UK)
Paul Dobson (Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Littlemore Mental Health Centre, Oxford, UK)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 30 November 2012

165

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the nature and prevalence of violence in a medium secure unit and to evaluate a personal defence training programme for staff working with mentally disordered offenders.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper identifies an existing training gap associated with traditional breakaway techniques and describes a process of piloting a new educational module known as the spontaneous protection enabling accelerated response (SPEAR) system. Structured questionnaires were used to collect demographic data and analyse staff confidence and perceptions of the training module. Clinician confidence in coping with patient aggression was measured before, immediately after and at three months following participation in the new programme.

Findings

A significant change in staff confidence was observed at two time scales after the training had been administered when compared with the pre‐test baseline total scores. Over 90 per cent of staff either agreed or strongly agreed that training in the new personal defence module provided a credible defence against sudden episodes of high‐risk violence.

Originality/value

The paper describes a proposed module of training that may provide a credible tertiary strategy for those frontline clinicians currently exposed to the risk of sudden, spontaneous episodes of close proximity violence where traditional breakaway techniques are likely to be ineffective. This paper would interest managers, trainers and specialist practitioners that are involved in the preparation and delivery of violence reduction initiatives aimed at promoting safer and therapeutic services.

Keywords

Citation

Mott, A., Walton, J., Harries, L., Highfield, P., Bleetman, A. and Dobson, P. (2012), "Personal defence training in a medium secure unit – a pilot study", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 200-213. https://doi.org/10.1108/17556221211287217

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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