January 27, 2023
2 min read
Amal T, et al. A global survey of impact of violence against healthcare workers in critical care settings: ViSHWaS. Presented at: Society of Critical Care Medicine’s Critical Care Congress; Jan. 21-24, 2023; San Francisco.
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Most critical care workers reported being in a violent situation while at work, which led to decreased workplace satisfaction, according to results of a global survey presented at Society of Critical Care Medicine’s Critical Care Congress.
Further, 80% of them said they did not feel prepared to manage these situations, according to researchers.
“The study is unique in aiming to identify the underlying factors for health care violence common across the globe,” Tanya Amal, MBBS, co-lead author of the Violence Study of Healthcare Workers and Systems, or ViSHWaS, survey of the Global Remote Research Scholars Program 2022 and research medical officer in the department of pulmonary and critical care at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, said in a press release from the Society of Critical Care Medicine. “The results could guide the discussion for the creation of a universally applicable model to mitigate the risk of violence against health care workers, especially in critical care settings.”
In a large global cross-sectional survey, Amal and colleagues analyzed 598 responses from health care workers in anesthesiology, critical care medicine and emergency medicine departments located in 69 different countries regarding violence on the job. The survey was shared between June 5 to July 24, 2022, through emails, phone calls, SMS and social media.
Of the total responses, 445 (56% age 26-35 years; 50% women) were complete, with the maximum responses from India (n = 49) and the U.S. (n = 44).
Consultants (35%) and nurses (22%) made up the greatest percentages of health care workers who participated, but residents/fellows in training, auxiliary/staff, advanced registered nurse practitioners, physician assistants, researchers and others also took part in the survey.
Researchers found that almost three quarters (73%) of workers encountered violence in the past year, with verbal (63%) and physical violence (39%) as the most frequent forms. Other forms included emotional violence and online harassment, according to the release.
In terms of who caused the violence, 28.3% of workers responded that it was a patient and/or family member.
With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting patients and health care workers around the world, 36% of workers said violence increased whereas 39% said it stayed the same during the pandemic.
All this reported violence contributed to the 48% of workers who reported that they felt less motivated or experienced less satisfaction with their job, and 25% said they were also willing to quit their job. Moreover, only 20% of workers felt prepared to handle aggressive situations.
“The survey findings may be only the tip of the iceberg because the responses represent a small sample of a vast global health care community,” Akshat Banga, MBBS, co-lead author and post-doctoral research fellow in cardiovascular medicine at University of Nebraska Medical Center, said in the release. “Additional research is needed to truly understand the breadth of the problem and how to mitigate violence against healthcare workers.”