Residents’ experiences in dealing with abuse in emergency department: a survey in Iran hospitals

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Abstract

Background

Abuse in Emergency Department (ED) as a widespread phenomenon, has negative effects on ED residents. This issue pertains to Western as well as Asian countries.

Objective

The purpose of this study was to assess how Iranian ED residents deal with abuse. Awareness, educational programmes, reports, causes of abuse and ways to reduce this were considered in this survey.

Method

In 2011, a cross-section survey was conducted at seven ED residencies of central hospitals in Tehran, Mashhad, Ahwaz and Tabriz. ED residents were asked about their age, sex, abuse time, awareness of abuse, educational programmes, reporting abuse, causes of reluctance to report, and how to reduce abuse. The data were analysed by SPSS V.20.

Results

A total of 215 questionnaires were completed. Abuse was reported to have occurred most frequently during night shifts (n=89, 41.4%), and most of the residents were abused by men rather than women (n=132, 61% vs n=22, 10%, p<0.05). About half the residents (n=107, 49.8%) were not aware of any abuse. Only 22% (n=46) had formal or informal education in abuse, and 74% (n=158) of them had not gone through any learning programmes. Most residents (n=175, 81%) did not know how to report abuse, and among respondents, most of the residents did not report the abuse (n=86, 40%), and the cause was mostly the uncertainty towards officials being able to solve the problem of abuse (n=67, 38%). Residents most often reported not to admit patients more than the hospital's capacity as the main solution to reduce abuse (n=61, 32%).

Conclusions

Being abused during residency is a universal problem, and there is a lack of awareness and the knowledge of how to deal with abuse, and reporting it among ED residents in Iranian hospitals.

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