Psychological violence against general practitioners and nurses in Chinese township hospitals: incidence and implications Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND:International reports indicating that around 10-50% of health care staff are exposed to violence every year; in certain settings, this rate might reach over 85%. Evidence has shown that people who experience psychological violence are seven times as likely to be victims of physical violence. Although there have been numerous studies on WPV in general hospitals, there is no consensus regarding the current status of psychological violence directed at health care workers in township hospitals in China. The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence and the risk factors of psychological violence in Chinese township hospitals. METHODS:A retrospective cross-sectional survey of township hospitals general practitioners and general nurses was conducted in Heilongjiang Province, China.Descriptive analyses and binary logistic regression analysis were used to estimated the prevalence and the risk factors of psychological violence. RESULTS:Regardless of whether the assessment period was the past 12 months, past 36 months, or during their entire career,GPs and nurses reported that verbal abuse was the most common type of psychological violence (28.05, 30.28, 38.69 and 40.45%, 43.86, 54.02%).The main perpetrator was patients' relatives. Most participants responded to violence with "pretend nothing happened", 55.63% of GPs and 62.64% of nurses reported that the perpetrator received no punishment. Around 47.62% of respondents reported that their workplace had no procedures for reporting violence. When workplaces did have a reporting system, 57.73% knew how to use them. Only 36.98% had training in managing aggression and violence. General nurses, individuals 35 years or younger, those with higher professional titles and who work in shifts are at greater risk of psychological violence. CONCLUSIONS:Our results indicate a high prevalence of psychological violence in Chinese township hospitals, which can no longer be ignored. Effective measures should be taken to prevent and respond to workplace violence(WPV), especially psychological violence. TRIAL REGISTRATION:(Project Identification Code: HMUIRB20160014), Registered May 10, 2016.


  • Li, Peng
  • Xing, Kai
  • Qiao, Hong
  • Fang, Huiying
  • Ma, Hongkun
  • Jiao, Mingli
  • Hao, Yanhua
  • Li, Ye
  • Liang, Libo
  • Gao, Lijun
  • Kang, Zheng
  • Cui, Yu
  • Sun, Hong
  • Wu, Qunhong
  • Liu, Ming

publication date

  • 2018