UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Workplace Violence among British Columbia Nurses Across Different Roles and Contexts Havaei, Farinaz; MacPhee, Maura; Ma, Andy


Workplace violence in healthcare settings is on the rise, particularly against nurses. Most healthcare violence research is in acute care settings. The purpose of this paper is to present descriptive findings on the prevalence of types and sources of workplace violence among nurses in different roles (i.e., direct care, leader, educator), specialties, care sectors (i.e., acute, community, long-term care) and geographic contexts (i.e., urban, suburban, rural) within the province of British Columbia (BC), Canada. This is a province-wide survey study using a cross-sectional descriptive, correlational design. An electronic survey was emailed by the provincial union to members across the province in Fall 2019. A total of 4462 responses were analyzed using descriptive and chi-square statistics. The most common types of workplace violence were emotional abuse, threats of assault and physical assault for all nursing roles and contexts. Findings were similar to previous BC research from two decades ago except for two to ten times higher proportions of all types of violence, including verbal and physical sexual assault. Patients were the most common source of violence towards nurses. Nurses should be involved in developing workplace violence interventions that are tailored to work environment contexts and populations.

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