2008 Volume 50 Issue 2 Pages 201-207
This study aimed to document the characteristics of workplace violence directed at nursing staff, an issue which has rarely been studied in a developing country. Two study methods, a survey and a key informant interview, were conducted at a general hospital in southern Thailand. A total of 545 out of 594 questionnaires sent were returned for statistical analysis (response rate=91.7%). The 12-month prevalence of violence experience was 38.9% for verbal abuse, 3.1% for physical abuse, and 0.7% for sexual harassment. Psychological consequences including poor relationships with colleagues and family members were the major concerns. Patients and their relatives were the main perpetrators in verbal and physical abuse while co-workers were the main perpetrators in cases of sexual harassment. Common factors to incidents of violence were psychological setting, illness of the perpetrators, miscommunication, and alcohol use. Logistic regression analysis showed younger age to be a personal risk factor. Working in the out-patient unit, trauma and emergency unit, operating room, or medical or surgical unit increased the odds of violence by 80%. Training related to violence prevention and control was found to be effective and decreased the risk of being a victim of violence by 40%. We recommend providing training to high risk groups as a means of controlling workplace violence directed at nursing staff.