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MEDICINE AND SOCIETY
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 344-348

Workplace violence against resident doctors in a tertiary care hospital in Delhi


Maulana Azad Medical College and associated hospitals, New Delhi 110002, India

Correspondence Address:
Tanu Anand
Maulana Azad Medical College and associated hospitals, New Delhi 110002
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Background. Healthcare workers particularly doctors are at high risk of being victims of verbal and physical violence perpetrated by patients or their relatives. There is a paucity of studies on work-related violence against doctors in India. We aimed to assess the exposure of workplace violence among doctors, its consequences among those who experienced it and its perceived risk factors. Methods. This study was done among doctors working in a tertiary care hospital in Delhi. Data were collected by using a self-administered questionnaire containing items for assessment of workplace violence against doctors, its consequences among those who were assaulted, reporting mechanisms and perceived risk factors. Results. Of the 169 respondents, 104 (61.4%) were men. The mean (SD) age of the study group was 28.6 (4.2) years. Sixty-nine doctors (40.8%) reported being exposed to violence at their workplace in the past 12 months. However, there was no gender-wise difference in the exposure to violence (p=0.86). The point of delivery of emergency services was reported as the most common place for experiencing violence. Verbal abuse was the most common form of violence reported (n=52; 75.4%). Anger, frustration and irritability were the most common symptoms experienced by the doctors who were subjected to violence at the workplace. Only 44.2% of doctors reported the event to the authorities. 'Poor communication skills' was considered to be the most common physician factor responsible for workplace violence against doctors. Conclusions. A large proportion of doctors are victims of violence by their patients or relatives. Violence is being under-reported. There is a need to encourage reporting of violence and prepare healthcare facilities to tackle this emerging issue for the safety of physicians.


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