Healthcare workers are at high risk of being victim of verbal and physical violence perpetrated by patients. There are only a few studies on work related violence among physicians. The aim of this study was to determine how prevalent work-related violence against physicians is and whether gender, age, specializations and workplaces are associated with verbal and physical violence against physicians in Japan. A questionnaire was mailed to all the 1,705 physicians who had graduated from one medical school in Japan and had practiced for a minimum of 3 yr by the time of this study. The verbal and physical violence experienced by physicians at the hands of their patients and/or clients in the last 6 months preceding this study were collected. We defined 'verbal violence' as 'any threatening statement or complaint' while 'physical violence' referred to 'the attempted or actual exercise by persons of any physical force so as to cause injury to a physician'. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to determine the independent contribution of each factor with violence. A total of 540 men and 158 women responded. The adjusted response rate was 41.8%. Among the participants, 168 (24.1%) physicians had experienced verbal violence and 15 (2.1%) physicians had experienced physical violence in the prior 6 months. Verbal violence was positively associated with physicians who were under 30 yr old (odds ratio [OR] = 2.1; 95% confidence interval [Cl], 1.0-4.1 for 27-29 yr old) and, psychiatry (OR, 2.4; 95% Cl, 1.1-5.4). Physical violence was significantly associated with women (OR, 3.8; 95% Cl, 1.1-13.5), specializations such as emergency and anesthesiology (OR, 18.9; 95% Cl, 2.8-126.1), and psychiatry (OR, 7.6; 95% Cl, 1.6-35.4). There was a considerable number of physicians exposed to violence. Younger physicians and psychiatrists are likely to be exposed to verbal violence. Female physicians, psychiatrists, and emergency physicians are likely to be exposed to physical violence. Education on avoiding from violence should be provided for physicians early in their career.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health