Format

Send to

Choose Destination
BJGP Open. 2018 Sep 19;2(3):bjgpopen18X101604. doi: 10.3399/bjgpopen18X101604. eCollection 2018 Oct.

Aggression towards the GP: can we profile the GP-victim? A cross-section survey among GPs.

Author information

1
Student Researcher, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Academic Centre of General Practice, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
2
Professor, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Academic Centre of General Practice, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Abstract

Background:

Aggression against GPs has increased in the past decade. Depending on experience, interpretation, and personality, the interpretation of aggressive patient behaviour will differ among doctors.

Aim:

To investigate how often GPs experience aggression in a 1-year time span and what the relationship is between the GP's personality (based on the 'Big Five' personality traits) and the reporting of aggression. Secondly, to investigate how personality is related to feeling safe.

Design & setting:

Flemish (Belgian Federal State) GPs were questioned in a cross-sectional design by online survey. GPs were recruited and questioned in their professional environment.

Method:

Outcome measures were the 'Big Five' personality traits ('reserved' versus 'outgoing', 'compassionate' versus 'challenging', 'efficient' versus 'careless', 'confident' versus 'nervous', and 'cautious' versus 'innovative', based on Cattel's 'Big Five' model of personality), the type of aggression, the reporting of aggression, and feeling safe.

Results:

Both (n = 247) male and female doctors considered physical contact and verbal intimidation as aggression. Female doctors were more likely to consider sexual harassment as aggression. The majority of GPs were confronted with verbal aggression. More than half considered physical aggression as the most threatening. GPs with 'reserved' and 'careless' personality types were more likely to experience aggression. GPs with 'innovative', 'challenging', or 'confident' personality types were also at increased risk, but to a lesser extent than those with 'reserved' and 'careless' personalities. GPs with 'efficient' and 'innovative' personalities were more likely to report incidents. Male GPs and those with 'efficient' personalities felt safer. GPs with 'confident' and 'cautious' personalities were more likely to feel unsafe.

Conclusion:

The results of this study might help future interventions and support strategies (designed to prevent aggressive incidents or help GPs cope with them) to target the vulnerable groups. Further research should therefore explore the results of these data in depth and on a larger sample size.

KEYWORDS:

Aggression; general practitioner; patient; personality

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center