Orient Journal of Medicine

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Frequency and pattern of violence towards healthcare workers in a mental health facility

P Ogualili, R Uwakwe, I Modebe


Background: Workplace violence is a well-recognized concern for healthcare workers and can broadly be divided into physical and psychological types.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the frequency and pattern of violence towards healthcare workers in a mental health facility in Maiduguri, North-East Nigeria.
Methodology: It was a descriptive study that involved members of staff who belonged to the Departments of Nursing Services and Mental Health, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria. Recruitment was via convenience method over four weeks in the month of December 2013, using a self-administered questionnaire containing 26 questions, with a section for socio-demographic data, adapted from aggression questionnaire designed by Hasan Hüseyin Eker, et al.
Results: Overall, 71 out of 114 members of staff (62.3%) belonging to both Departments of Nursing Services and Mental Health of the hospital were involved in the study. More than two-thirds (69.0%) of the participants were males, and more than half (53.5%) reported being exposed to violence in the preceding 12months. Among those exposed to violence, 92.1% of them reported verbal, and 7.9% physical violence. Nearly a quarter (23.7%) of those exposed to violence reported being negatively affected.
Conclusion: Violence by patients and their relations in this study setting was common but mainly verbal. Exposure to violence may result in negative post-exposure consequences.

Keywords: Maiduguri, Mental Health Department, Nigeria, Nursing Services

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