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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 173-180

Are nurses verbally abused? A cross-sectional study of nurses at a university hospital, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia

1 Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
2 Research Support Unit, King Fahd Hospital of the University, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Nouf A Al-Shamlan
Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam 31433
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_45_17

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BACKGROUND: Workplace violence against health-care workers is a significant problem worldwide. Nurses are at a higher risk of exposure to violence. Studies available in Saudi Arabia are few. OBJECTIVES: The objective of the study was to estimate the prevalence of verbal abuse of nurses at King Fahd Hospital of the University (KFHU) in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, and to identify consequences and the demographic and work-related characteristics associated with it. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study of 391 nurses by total sample was conducted between November and December 2015, using a modified self-administered questionnaire developed by the World Health Organization. Data was entered, and analyzed using SPSS Version 16.0. The descriptive statistics were reported using frequency and percentages for all categorical variables. Chi-squared tests or Fisher's Exact test, as appropriate, were performed to test the associations of verbal abuse with the demographic and work-related characteristics of the participants. Variables with p < 0.05 were considered significant. Logistic regression analysis performed to determine association between verbal abuse and independent variables. RESULTS: In a period of 1 year before the study, about three out of ten nurses experienced verbal abuse (30.7%). In the majority of cases, the victims did not report the incidents, mostly because they believed that reporting would yield no positive results. Logistic regression analysis revealed that male nurses, nurses in the emergency department, and nurses who indicated that there were procedures for reporting violence in their workplace were more vulnerable to workplace verbal abuse. CONCLUSION: Workplace verbal abuse is a significant challenge in KFHU. For decision makers, it is rather disturbing that a lot of cases go unreported even though procedures for reporting exist. Implementation of an efficient transparent reporting system that provides follow-up investigations is mandatory. In addition, all victims should be helped with counseling and support.

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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010