Workplace violence (WPV) against healthcare workers, a serious public health problem with profound implications, has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study examined the incidence of different types of WPV in a public hospital in Israel during the pandemic and analyzes the factors associated with its occurrence. A cross-sectional study was performed via an online questionnaire with 486 workers at a government hospital in Israel. Data were collected about sociodemographic and occupational characteristics, exposure to different forms of WPV over the pre-ceding six months, and the responsibility and reasons for WPV from the workers’ perspective. Approximately 71% of respondents were exposed to WPV and 64% perceived that WPV escalated during the pandemic. The prevalence of verbal/psychological and physical WPV were 69 and 11%, respectively. The main reason for WPV was frustration over long wait times (70%). The escalation during the pandemic can be attributed to patients’ or relatives’ anxiety and mental states following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (72%), an increase in waiting time since the pandemic began (54%), lack of hospital resources to care for everyone (45%), and the inability to visit critically ill relatives with COVID-19 (44%). Increased exposure to WPV was attributed to lower seniority, working in emergency or internal departments, and being a nurse or a doctor. The findings raise an urgent need to develop strategies to reduce WPV in hospitals at all levels: national, organizational, and individual. Further research could focus on the effectiveness of innovative strategies and interventions to prevent violence against healthcare workers.
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|State||Published - 1 Apr 2022|
- healthcare workers
- workplace violence
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis