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J Emerg Trauma Shock. 2019 Jul-Sep;12(3):179-184. doi: 10.4103/JETS.JETS_81_18.

Perception of Workplace Violence in the Emergency Department.

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Department of Nursing, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Department of Emergency Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.



Workplace violence (WPV) is a serious issue worldwide. Violence against emergency department (ED) staffs causes significant physical and mental distress which affects work productivity and patient care.


We seek amount and type of WPV perceived by the emergency physicians and nurses, their reporting agencies, and impact of violence on them.


It was a cross-sectional study conducted at a tertiary health care center. Data were collected based on 24-item questionnaire between January and December 2017. Descriptive statistics was used to describe characteristics of participants and exposure to violence. Chi-square and Fisher's exact tests were used for bivariate analysis while logistic regression analysis was to analyze the impact of violence with participant characteristics. P < 0.05 was used to judge the clinical significance.


Two hundred and thirty-five participants (123 doctors and 112 nurses) completed the survey. About 67% of the participants (158/235) reported verbal abuse (VA), physical assault (PA) was reported by 17% (40/235), while confrontation was reported by 11% (27/235). Family members were the main perpetrator for VA (75%) and PA (35%). Regarding reporting, the violent incidences were mostly reported to ED security and ED faculty. Individuals with comparatively less age group, less experience, and male gender were more exposed to abuse both VA and PA at P < 0.05. Nurses and junior residents reported more abuse than senior residents (P < 0.05). Majority of the participants had reported lack of job satisfaction due to Verbal abuse (P = 0.01).


WPV is common in ED of the current setting. It results in significant physiological and psychological effects on health-care providers.


Emergency department; physical assault; reporting agency; verbal abuse; workplace violence

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