Pan African Medical Journal

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Prevalence and risk factors of workplace violence against health care workers in emergency department in Ismailia, Egypt

Rasha Farouk Abdellah, Khaled Morsy Salama


Introduction: Emergency department is one of the high-risk areas, where violence against health care workers (HCWs) is a prevalent and serious problem. Violence has negative effects on HCWs, and therefore on the quality of care provided in emergency department. This study aimed to determine the prevalence, types, sources and risk factors of violence reported by HCWs in emergency department.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using a standardized questionnaire developed by the WHO. One hundred thirty four questionnaires were included in this study (94.4% response rate).

Results: WPV was reported by 59.7% of HCWs. Verbal violence was the most reported (58.2%), compared to physical violence (15.7%). The most reported reasons for violence were waiting time and that patient and family expectations not being met. Only 29.5% of HCWs who experienced verbal violence and 23.8% of who experienced physical violence reported it to hospital authority. About 75% of HCW thought that work place violence could be prevented, and about 60% said that no action was taken against the attacker by hospital authority.

Conclusion: Violence against HCWs in emergency department is a significant issue that cannot be ignored. There are multiple reasons. The key point in dealing with the problem is to treat its specific causes.
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