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J Occup Health year 2008 volume 50 number 2 page 201 - 207
Classification Field Study
Title Workplace Violence Directed at Nursing Staff at a General Hospital in Southern Thailand
Author Chalermrat Kamchuchat1, Virasakdi Chongsuvivatwong2, Suparnee Oncheunjit3, Teem Wing Yip4 and Rassamee Sangthong2
Organization 1Department of Community Medicine, 2Epidemiology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, 3Department of Public Health Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand and 4School of Medicine, Flinders University, Australia
Keywords Occupational hazard, Workplace violence, Verbal abuse, Physical abuse, Nursing staff
Correspondence R. Sangthong, Epidemiology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai 90110, Thailand (e-mail: rassamee_sangthong@yahoo.com)
Abstract Workplace Violence Directed at Nursing Staff at a General Hospital in Southern Thailand: Chalermrat Kamchuchat, et al. Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand-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.