Manifestations of verbal and physical violence towards doctors: A comparison between hospital and community doctors

Tamar Nevo, Roni Peleg, Daniel M. Kaplan, Tamar Freud

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Scopus citations


    Background: Healthcare workers, in the hospital and in community clinics, are frequently exposed to verbal and physical abuse that can lead to frustration and despair. This study's objectives were to evaluate trends in violence towards hospital and community doctors in the Negev region of Israel and to compare them to the results of a previous 2005 study. Methods: A convenience sample of doctors in the hospital and in the community completed anonymous questionnaires on previous exposure to work place violence and their attitudes to it. The data were collected in 2017. Results: One hundred forty-five doctors participated in the study, of who 63 were hospital doctors and 82 were community doctors. Fifty nine percent of the doctors reported that they experienced at least one incident of verbal abuse over the previous year and 9% were exposed to physical abuse, compared to 56 and 9%, respectively, in the previous study. More hospital doctors (58.7%) were exposed to verbal abuse on the part of family members than community doctors (35.8%) (P = 0.007). The most common reason for a violent outbreak was long waiting times, followed by dissatisfaction with treatment, both consistent with the findings in the previous study. Seventy one percent said that violence was a major problem for doctors. The majority (73.9%) had not participated in a workshop or other training for preventing workplace violence or coping with it, an improvement over the 83% who reported not receiving any training in the previous study. Conclusions: Workplace violence is a major issue, which affects hospital and community physicians alike. There is a rise in the number of doctors who have undergone training in this area, although the majority have yet to receive formal training.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number888
    JournalBMC Health Services Research
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 26 Nov 2019


    • Community doctors
    • Hospital doctors
    • Physical abuse
    • Verbal abuse
    • Violence

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health Policy


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