Violence in the workplace is one of the most serious issues affecting the healthcare sector. The incidence of violent behaviour towards healthcare workers is increasing worldwide. It is difficult to assess the extent of the problem, however, as violent incidents are underreported. In fact, many doctors and nurses see violence—perpetrated primarily by patients and visitors (friends and relatives of patients)—as a part of their job. Several studies indicate that violent behaviour against healthcare workers has serious consequences for the professionals involved, as well as for the wider healthcare system. The purpose of this study was to ascertain the prevalence of patient and visitor violence in a number of emergency departments in northeastern Italy and to explore the relationship between violence and certain psychosocial factors (adult attachment style, age, and job satisfaction). Data were collected using an online questionnaire. Our results demonstrate that patient and visitor violence in emergency departments is a serious risk for nurses and doctors and that it is affected by several factors relating to both patient pathologies and the way the workplace and work patterns are organised. Previous studies indicate that the most common formof violence experienced in these contexts is emotional violence and that nurses are more likely than doctors to suffer emotional and physical violence. Based on multiple regression analysis of the data, it appears that greater age and higher scores in secure attachment are associated with reduced experience of emotional violence from patients and visitors. Furthermore, our results show that the relationship between secure attachment and the amount of patient-and-visitor-perpetrated emotional violence experienced is mediated by levels of job satisfaction.We also discuss the potential implications of these results in terms of using staff training to prevent andmanage patient and visitor violence and improve the safety of healthcare professionals.

Addressing Risks of Violence against Healthcare Staff in Emergency Departments: The Effects of Job Satisfaction and Attachment Style

Sabrina Berlanda
;
Monica Pedrazza;Federica de Cordova
2019-01-01

Abstract

Violence in the workplace is one of the most serious issues affecting the healthcare sector. The incidence of violent behaviour towards healthcare workers is increasing worldwide. It is difficult to assess the extent of the problem, however, as violent incidents are underreported. In fact, many doctors and nurses see violence—perpetrated primarily by patients and visitors (friends and relatives of patients)—as a part of their job. Several studies indicate that violent behaviour against healthcare workers has serious consequences for the professionals involved, as well as for the wider healthcare system. The purpose of this study was to ascertain the prevalence of patient and visitor violence in a number of emergency departments in northeastern Italy and to explore the relationship between violence and certain psychosocial factors (adult attachment style, age, and job satisfaction). Data were collected using an online questionnaire. Our results demonstrate that patient and visitor violence in emergency departments is a serious risk for nurses and doctors and that it is affected by several factors relating to both patient pathologies and the way the workplace and work patterns are organised. Previous studies indicate that the most common formof violence experienced in these contexts is emotional violence and that nurses are more likely than doctors to suffer emotional and physical violence. Based on multiple regression analysis of the data, it appears that greater age and higher scores in secure attachment are associated with reduced experience of emotional violence from patients and visitors. Furthermore, our results show that the relationship between secure attachment and the amount of patient-and-visitor-perpetrated emotional violence experienced is mediated by levels of job satisfaction.We also discuss the potential implications of these results in terms of using staff training to prevent andmanage patient and visitor violence and improve the safety of healthcare professionals.
violence at work, job satisfaction, attachment style
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/996047
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