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Pain Care Providers at High Risk for Violence

A significant number of physicians carry firearms as a mitigation strategy

MONDAY, June 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic pain care providers (CPCPs) are high risk targets for violence, according to research published online June 2 in Pain Medicine.

David D. Kim, M.D., from the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and colleagues conducted an e-mail survey of members of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians to assess violence rates against CPCPs, character/context/risk factors for violence, and mitigation strategies.

The researchers found that 64.85 percent of CPCPs have called security and 51.52 percent have received threats. Just over 7 percent of the time, the threats involved a gun. Injury was reported by 2.73 percent of CPCPs. Discharging a patient was the most common risk mitigation strategy (85.33 percent), although others reported using protective equipment (16.89 percent). Of those reporting using protective equipment, a significant percentage carried a gun (54 percent). The highest context for violence involved opioid management (89.9 percent; P < 0.0001).

"Provider characteristics demonstrated some higher risk factors for exposure to patient violence such as older age, being male, working part time in pain management, and working in specialties such as anesthesiology," the authors write.

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