Workplace Violence: A Regional Survey in Iranian Hospitals’ Emergency Departments

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

2 Department of Health and Management, School of Health, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

3 Vice-chancellor Office, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran


Background and Objectives: Violence toward healthcare workers has emerged as an important health problem. This type of violence has the potential to severely influence healthcare workers, patients, and the community. This study aimed to explore the prevalence of violence in emergency departments, and to identify associated risk fac‌tors using a sample of emergency department healthcare workers in Iran.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in emergency departments of five referral hospitals in Ta‌briz, the center of an Iranian north-western province. A questionnaire validated by experts was used to collect demographic and violence-related data. The data were summarized using descriptive statistical methods. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify the potential violence risk factors.
Findings: The majority of participants (84.5%) expressed experiencing at least one violent event within the past three months of conducting the study. Almost all respondents reported experiencing stress, anxiety, depressive moods, or job dissatisfaction. A statistically significant association was found between violent events experienced by the respondents during work in emergency departments and their work experience (OR = 0.88, P = 0.02), age (OR = 0.86, P < 0.001), and sex (OR = 9.10, P = 0.005).
Conclusions: According to our results, a high proportion of workers in emergency department experience violent incidents during working hours. The statistically significant association between violent events and work experi‌ence indicate limited work experience as a risk factor of violent incidents in emergency department. To compen‌sate for lack of adequate work experience in younger emergency departments employees, there is a need for targeted training programs aiming to enhance communication and violence management skills in this group. In addition, male clinicians are the primary targets for violence reducing strategies.