Background Violence against healthcare workers is a growing problem. About 9% to 49.5% violence has been reported from different parts of the world. Healthcare providers in emergency departments throughout the world are exposed to workplace violence.
Objective To determine the prevalence and determinants of workplace violence against emergency care providers in tertiary care hospitals of Karachi, Pakistan.
Methods The study was conducted in emergency departments of four tertiary care hospitals of Karachi. Interviews after written consent were conducted with physicians, registered nurses, nursing aids, porters, guards, unit receptionists and housekeepers. Stratified cluster sampling was adapted.
Results Of 384 respondents, 250 (65%) were males. Of all, 274(71%) reported verbal abuse, 72(20%) reported physical abuse within last 1 year. Physical abuse was equally faced in both private and public hospitals. Weapons were involved in 31(41%) cases of physical attack. Of all respondents, 96(35%) females suffered verbal abuse compared with 23(30%) who faced physical violence. Of 76 respondents, 24 (32%) felt useless to report the incident to the authorities. Working as a physician (OR 2.06; 95% CI 1.06 to 4.02), having working experience of less than 5 years (OR 2.41; 95% CI 1.05 to 5.57) and having 11 to 15 coworkers on call (OR 3.52; 95% CI 1.34 to 9.23) were identified as determinants of violence.
Conclusion Physical violence with weapon was noted in our set up, along with verbal violence. Physicians with work experience of less than 5 years are more prone to face such incidences.
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