INSIGHTS: Health Care Professionals Are At Higher Risk of Violence

Health-care professionals are at the highest risk of violence at their workplace among all professionals.

Non-physical violence plays a pivotal role in medical-related professional job satisfaction and mental health. Verbal violence is the most common form of violence experienced by doctors.

Objective: Determining workplace violence and psychological stress amongst the doctors

A total of 100 physicians participated in the survey—Anaesthesiologist (49%), Gynaecologist & Obstetrician (22%), Ophthalmologist (7%), ENT specialist (7%), Orthopaedic surgeons (7%), Pulmonologists (7%) and Nephrologists (1%).

  1. 84% of doctors stated that family members and relatives often disrespect doctors/cause violence, while political connections (10%) was next on the list

  2. When asked if they have experienced/observed any threats of violence, a majority of doctors affirmed as once (30%) and 2-3 times (30%). Only 25% of doctors mentioned that they never experienced threats of violence

  3. 51% of doctors mentioned that they have encountered or seen real acts of violence against doctors, while 49% did not come across it

  4. When asked the reasons for initiation of such violence, 38% of doctors stated death/disability of the patient, while medical cost (27%) and unreasonable demands being rejected (22%) were the next two causes

  5. The majority of doctors (44%) stated that verbal abuse was most commonly experienced, followed by threat (21 %) and physical violence (20%)

  6. 31.5% of doctors were affected by emotional exhaustion, 25.5% by performance, and 20% by depression

  7. 34% of doctors were found to be in favor to report to officials to cope up with such violence, while 20% informing to co-doctors and 17% preferred to take support of family or friends. 11% of doctors stated that effective law and its implementation would be the ideal way

Most doctors have experienced threats of violence at least once in their careers. It was found that family members often disrespect doctors and cause violence. Out of this, only one-third of doctors report to the officials to cope up with such violence. A cordial doctor-patient relationship is essential for proper treatment of the patients as well as for doctors to work without any fear or stress. To prevent such violence strengthening of security system is important.

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