Resident-to-Resident Aggression in Nursing Homes: Social Worker Involvement and Collaboration with Nursing Colleagues

Robin Bonifas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Resident-to-resident aggression (RRA) is the most common form of abuse occurring in nursing homes. A staff referral to the facility social worker is a common intervention approach used to manage this behavior, yet studies are nonexistent regarding how nursing home social workers respond to such referrals or how their efforts link with interprofessional team members. The purpose of this study was to identify assessment and intervention strategies social workers use to address RRA and how they collaborate with nursing colleagues in the RRA management process. Semistructured interviews were completed with social services and nursing personnel (na = 90) from 10 nursing homes. Interview questions focused on the participants' role in addressing RRA and associated interprofessional partnerships. Thematic analysis of three a priori categories, social work assessment, intervention, and collaboration, identified that (1) assessment approaches include gathering information, applying knowledge of causal factors, and determining psychosocial impact; (2) intervention approaches comprise determining appropriate interventions, applying preventive approaches, and delivering psychosocial interventions; and (3) collaborative strategies include mutual assessment consultations, joint intervention planning, tandem intervention delivery, and maximizing professional strengths. Findings illustrate social workers' extensive involvement in responding to RRA incidents and the importance of social worker-nurse collaboration, especially with direct care workers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e101-e109
JournalHealth and Social Work
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


  • interprofessional collaboration
  • nursing homes
  • resident-to-resident aggression
  • social work roles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)

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