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Aust J Rural Health. 2003 Oct;11(5):231-6.

Rural general practitioner experience of work-related violence in australia.

Author information

1
Discipline of General Practice, School of Medical Practice and Population Health, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

Abstract

AIMS:

To identify prevalence, precipitants and risk factors of violence and aggression towards Australian rural general practitioners (GPs).

METHOD:

Six focus groups were held with GPs from rural Western Australia and from two rural Divisions of General Practice in New South Wales and Victoria. A questionnaire was developed and all GPs in these three geographical areas were surveyed.

RESULTS:

The survey results showed that 73% of respondents had experienced some form of violent or aggressive behaviour from patients and 20% had been subjected to physical abuse during their careers as rural doctors. Physical abuse mostly occurred after hours and in a hospital or multipurpose centre. Violence and aggression were often associated with patient drug and alcohol intoxication and psychological disorders.

CONCLUSION:

Workplace violence and aggression against rural GPs is a frequent problem. Adequate funding and safe facilities for after-hours care and training for GPs in managing dangerous situations should be provided.

PMID:
14641220
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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