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.
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.
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.
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.
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/10.1108/17556221211287217Download as .RIS
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