Incidence, Type, Related Factors, and Effect of Workplace Violence on Mental Health Nurses: A Cross-sectional Survey

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Workplace violence and its impact on mental health nurses have yet to be thoroughly explored in China. This study aims to investigate the incidence, type, related factors, and effects of workplace violence on mental health nurses as well as identifying coping strategies.

METHODS:

A researcher - designed workplace violence questionnaire and the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey were distributed to nurses at a mental health hospital in Wuhan, China.

RESULTS:

Most nurses reported a high incidence of workplace violence (94.6%) in the past year ranging from verbal aggression, sexual harassment, to physical attack. The forms of violence significantly correlated with each other (r > 0.5, p = 0.000). Working on the psychiatric intensive care unit for adult males and being a male nurse placed nurses at significantly higher risk for workplace violence. Providing routine treatment, caring for male patients, and working the night shift increased the risk of sexual harassment. Nurses who believed that workplace violence was preventable experienced a significantly lower incidence of violence. Burnout levels of the mental health nurses were relatively mild, but increased with age, professional title, years of employment and frequency of workplace violence.

CONCLUSION:

The incidence of workplace violence among mental health nurses is common, and its frequency is correlated with nurses' level of burnout. Management and clinical nurses should work together on an organization-wide strategy targeting the major identified risk areas to reduce the incidence of workplace violence and minimize its impact on nurses.

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