OBJECTIVES:Workplace violence is relatively frequent among medical professionals who work in otorhinolaryngology units. This phenomenon reduces the quality of provided medical care and increases the incidence of depressive symptoms among physicians and nurses, seriously affecting their job satisfaction and work efficiency with a negative attitude towards providing treatment. Few existing studies have assessed workplace-violence-related factors associated with depressive symptoms among otorhinolaryngology physicians and nurses. METHODS:We conducted a cross-sectional study in grade A tertiary hospitals of Heilongjiang province in Northern China, to evaluate the occurrence and level of depressive symptoms among otorhinolaryngology physicians and nurses and to analyse the relationship between them and workplace-violence-related risk factors and demographic variables. RESULTS:Of all our participating professionals, (379 otorhinolaryngologists and 273 nurses), 57.2% were found to have depressive symptoms, whereas, of the respondents who had suffered from physical violence, 71.25% had depressive symptoms. Professionals with less than 1 year of experience, as well as professionals who more frequently worked alone, were more likely to suffer from depressive symptoms than their colleagues. CONCLUSIONS:This research addresses an emerging issue of clinical practice, and its results differ from those of previous studies; specifically, it indicates that the frequency of depressive symptoms among otorhinolaryngology physicians and nurses may be influenced by physical violence, the number of coworkers they have for more than half of their working hours and other workplace-violence-related factors. To reduce the depressive symptoms caused by workplace violence and improve the quality of medical services, medical institutions should implement effective measures to prevent the occurrence of physical violence, strengthen team cooperation ability and increase peer support.