Prevalence and factors associated with workplace violence in a tertiary healthcare facility in South East Nigeria

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Peter Elom
Adaoha Agu
Alfred Unah
Benedict Azuogu
Bernard Ituma
Onyinyechi Okah
Yusuf Okocha
Jacintha Ugwunweze
Edmund Ossai
Dorothy Igwe


Workplace Violence, Prevalence, Non-Reporting, Prevention, Teaching Hospital, Nigeria


Background: Healthcare workers globally are at an increased risk of workplace violence. Adverse effects such as physical injury, reduced quality of care to patients and lower productivity with associated costs to employers occur. Non-reporting hinders the implementation of effective prevention. This study aimed to assess the prevalence, reasons for non-reporting of workplace violence, and knowledge of prevention prior to designing intervention strategies in the study location where there is a paucity of research on this issue.

Methodology: This cross-sectional study was conducted at a Teaching Hospital in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, for 4 weeks in 2020 among 205 employees. The hospital was stratified into Clinical, Nursing Services, Pharmacy, Laboratory, and administrative divisions; proportionate allocation and random sampling were used to select the allocated samples. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data. Descriptive statistics determined the measures of central tendencies and dispersion, while bivariate analysis of the variables was done using Pearson’s Chi-Square test. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05 with a confidence level of 95%.

Results: The mean age of the participants was 39.1 ± 7.8 years. The prevalence of workplace violence was 70%. The most common reason for non-reporting was complexities and time-consuming reporting procedures (26.5%) followed by fear of reprisal on career (22.4%). The proportion of respondents with good knowledge of workplace violence prevention strategies was high (69.8%). Gender (p = 0.03), work setting (p = 0.006), previous workplace violence training (p = 0.005) and knowledge of workplace violence preventive strategies (p = 0.04) had statistically significant associations with experience of workplace violence.

Conclusion: The high prevalence of workplace violence suggests a need for a workplace violence prevention program which should include a simple process of reporting and training. The improved awareness from previous training may account for the significant association with workplace violence.

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