Search Strategy: Lateral Violence in Nursing and Strategies to address it

Search Strategy: Lateral Violence in Nursing and Strategies to address it

To search for articles relevant to the topic of lateral violence in nursing, various keywords related to the topic were entered in the search fields. During the initial search, the combination of keywords used was “Lateral” OR “Horizontal” AND” Violence” “AND “Nursing”. The selection and combination of keywords using various Boolean operators was based on strategies discussed by Timmins and McCabe (2005). From this search, 3,797 articles were returned for all results types. Since only results of peer-reviewed sources were desired, the obtained results were refined using the filters for “peer review” and “academic journals.” On refining using these filters, 3,424 results remained.

A second level of refinement of the results was to enhance the relevance of the evidence by restricting the results to only current studies.  In this respect, only results published within 5 years, i.e. from 2008 were considered. This returned 1,955 articles. An overview of the “Subject: Major heading” indicated that still some of the results were not related to bullying behavior. As such, the search was refined by restricting the keywords to the look in the article titles only and the “Subject: Major heading” filter to those dealing with “bullying” and “nurses.” From this refinement, the search results returned 24 articles.  A physical review of the 24 articles indicated that each was relevant to the topic of lateral violence in nursing and thus such articles offered the foundation for assessing issues such as prevalence of lateral violence in care settings, risk factors predicting development of horizontal violence and strategies that can be used to combat the vice. Such themes are hoped to be explored in the study to evaluate interventions that nursing managers can use to lower the occurrence of lateral violence in inpatient settings.



Timmins, F., & McCabe, C. (2005). How to conduct an effective literature search. Nursing Standard, 20(11), 41-47.


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