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1.  Aggression and violence against health care workers in Germany - a cross sectional retrospective survey 
Although international scientific research on health issues has been dealing with the problem of aggression and violence towards those employed in health care, research activities in Germany are still at an early stage. In view of this, the aim of this study was to examine the frequency and consequences of aggressive behaviour towards nurses and health care workers in different health sectors in Germany and to assess the need for preventive measures.
We conducted a cross-sectional retrospective survey. Nurses and health care workers from two nursing homes, a psychiatric clinic and a workshop for people with disabilities were interviewed using a standardised questionnaire. The sample covered 123 individuals (response rate 38.8%). The survey assessed the frequency, the type and the consequences of aggressive behaviour, and social support in connection with coping with aggression in the workplace. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for putative risk factors which may influence the stress induced by aggression at the workplace were calculated using conditional logistic regression.
During the previous twelve months 70.7% of the respondents experienced physical and 89.4% verbal aggression. Physical aggression more frequently occurred in nursing homes (83.9% of the employees) and verbal aggression was more common in the psychiatric clinic (96.7% of the employees). The proportion of the individuals affected in the workshop for people with disabilities was lower (41.9% and 77.4% respectively). The incidents impaired the physical (55%) and emotional well-being (77.2%) of the employees. The frequency of incidents (weekly: OR 2.7; 95% CI 1.1-6.4) combined with the lack of social support (OR 2.8; 95% CI 1.2-6.6) increased the probability of higher stress due to aggression.
This study corroborates previous reports of frequent physical and verbal aggression towards care workers in the various areas of health care. The present study highlights differences between various areas of health care in Germany and the aggravating effect of prevention neglect such as missing social support at the workplace. Therefore our data suggest the need for improved target group specific prevention of aggressive incidents towards care workers and the need for effective aftercare in Germany.
PMCID: PMC2837654  PMID: 20184718
2.  Associations between Intimate Partner Violence and Termination of Pregnancy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(1):e1001581.
Lucy Chappell and colleagues conduct a systematic review and meta analysis to investigate a possible association between intimate partner violence and termination of pregnancy.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Intimate partner violence (IPV) and termination of pregnancy (TOP) are global health concerns, but their interaction is undetermined. The aim of this study was to determine whether there is an association between IPV and TOP.
Methods and Findings
A systematic review based on a search of Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, and Ovid Maternity and Infant Care from each database's inception to 21 September 2013 for peer-reviewed articles of any design and language found 74 studies regarding women who had undergone TOP and had experienced at least one domain (physical, sexual, or emotional) of IPV. Prevalence of IPV and association between IPV and TOP were meta-analysed. Sample sizes ranged from eight to 33,385 participants. Worldwide, rates of IPV in the preceding year in women undergoing TOP ranged from 2.5% to 30%. Lifetime prevalence by meta-analysis was shown to be 24.9% (95% CI 19.9% to 30.6%); heterogeneity was high (I2>90%), and variation was not explained by study design, quality, or size, or country gross national income per capita. IPV, including history of rape, sexual assault, contraceptive sabotage, and coerced decision-making, was associated with TOP, and with repeat TOPs. By meta-analysis, partner not knowing about the TOP was shown to be significantly associated with IPV (pooled odds ratio 2.97, 95% CI 2.39 to 3.69). Women in violent relationships were more likely to have concealed the TOP from their partner than those who were not. Demographic factors including age, ethnicity, education, marital status, income, employment, and drug and alcohol use showed no strong or consistent mediating effect. Few long-term outcomes were studied. Women welcomed the opportunity to disclose IPV and be offered help. Limitations include study heterogeneity, potential underreporting of both IPV and TOP in primary data sources, and inherent difficulties in validation.
IPV is associated with TOP. Novel public health approaches are required to prevent IPV. TOP services provide an opportune health-based setting to design and test interventions.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Intimate partner violence (sometimes referred to as domestic violence) is one of the commonest forms of violence against women and is a global health problem. The World Health Organization defines intimate partner violence as any act of physical, psychological, or sexual aggression or any controlling behavior (for example, restriction of access to assistance) perpetrated by the woman's current or past intimate partner. Although men also experience it, intimate partner violence is overwhelmingly experienced by women, particularly when repeated or severe. Studies indicate that the prevalence (the percentage of a population affected by a condition) of intimate partner violence varies widely within and between countries: the prevalence of intimate partner violence among women ranges from 15% in Japan to 71% in Ethiopia, and the lifetime prevalence of rape (forced sex) within intimate relationships ranges from 5.9% to 42% across the world, for example. Overall, a third of women experience intimate partner violence at some time during their lifetimes. The health consequences of such violence include physical injury, depression, suicidal behavior, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Why Was This Study Done?
Intimate partner violence can also lead to gynecological disorders (conditions affecting the female reproductive organs), unwanted pregnancy, premature labour and birth, and sexually transmitted infections. Because violence may begin or intensify during pregnancy, some countries recommend routine questioning about intimate partner violence during antenatal care. However, women seeking termination of pregnancy (induced abortion) are not routinely asked about intimate partner violence. Every year, many women worldwide terminate a pregnancy. Nearly half of these terminations are unsafe, and complications arising from unsafe abortions are responsible for more than 10% of maternal deaths (deaths from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications). It is important to know whether intimate partner violence and termination of pregnancy are associated in order to develop effective strategies to deal with both these global health concerns. Here, the researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the associations between intimate partner violence and termination or pregnancy. A systematic review identifies all the research on a given topic using predefined criteria; meta-analysis combines the results of several studies.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 74 studies that provided information about experiences of intimate partner violence among women who had had a termination of pregnancy. Data in these studies indicated that, worldwide, intimate partner violence rates among women undergoing termination ranged from 2.5% to 30% in the preceding year and from 14% to 40% over their lifetime. In the meta-analysis, the lifetime prevalence of intimate partner violence was 24.9% among termination-seeking populations. The identified studies provided evidence that intimate partner violence was associated with termination and with repeat termination. In one study, for example, women presenting for a third termination were more than two and a half times more likely to have a history of physical or sexual violence than women presenting for their first termination. Moreover, according to the meta-analysis, women in violent relationships were three times as likely to conceal a termination from their partner as women in non-violent relationships. Finally, the studies indicated that women undergoing terminations of pregnancy welcomed the opportunity to disclose their experiences of intimate partner violence and to be offered help.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that intimate partner violence is associated with termination of pregnancy and that a woman's partner not knowing about the termination is a risk factor for intimate partner violence among women seeking termination. Overall, the researchers' findings support the concept that violence can lead to pregnancy and to subsequent termination of pregnancy, and that there may be a repetitive cycle of abuse and pregnancy. The accuracy of these findings is limited by heterogeneity (variability) among the included studies, by the likelihood of underreporting of both intimate partner violence and termination in the included studies, and by lack of validation of reports of violence through, for example, police reports. Nevertheless, health-care professionals should consider the possibility that women seeking termination of pregnancy may be experiencing intimate partner violence. In trying to prevent repeat terminations, health-care professionals should be aware that while focusing on preventing conception may reduce the chances of a woman becoming pregnant, she may still be vulnerable to abuse. Finally, given the clear associations between intimate partner violence and termination of pregnancy, the researchers suggest that termination services represent an appropriate setting in which to test interventions designed to reduce intimate partner violence.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The World Health organization provides detailed information about intimate partner violence and about termination of pregnancy (some information available in several languages)
MedlinePlus provides links to other resources about intimate partner violence and about termination of pregnancy (in English and Spanish)
The World Bank has a webpage that discusses the role of the health sector in preventing gender-based violence and a webpage with links to other resources about gender-based violence
The Gender and Health Research Unit of the South African Medical Research Council provides links to further resources about intimate partner violence (research briefs/policy briefs/fact sheets/research reports)
DIVERHSE (Domestic & Interpersonal Violence: Effecting Responses in the Health Sector in Europe) is a European forum for health professionals, nongovernmental organizations, policy-makers, and academics to share their expertise and good practice in developing and evaluating interventions to address violence against women and children in a variety of health-care settings
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine's Gender Violence and Health Centre also has a number of research resources
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides personal stories of intimate partner violence during pregnancy
The March of Dimes provides information on identifying intimate partner violence during pregnancy and making a safety plan
PMCID: PMC3883805  PMID: 24409101
3.  Violence in the emergency department: a survey of health care workers 
BACKGROUND: Violence in the workplace is an ill-defined and underreported concern for health care workers. The objectives of this study were to examine perceived levels of violence in the emergency department, to obtain health care workers' definitions of violence, to determine the effect of violence on health care workers and to determine coping mechanisms and potential preventive strategies. METHODS: A retrospective written survey of all 163 emergency department employees working in 1996 at an urban inner-city tertiary care centre in Vancouver. The survey elicited demographic information, personal definition of violence, severity of violence, degree of stress as a result of violence and estimate of the number of encounters with violence in the workplace in 1996. The authors examined the effects of violence on job performance and job satisfaction, and reviewed coping and potential preventive strategies. RESULTS: Of the 163 staff, 106 (65%) completed the survey. A total of 68% (70/103) reported an increased frequency of violence over time, and 60% (64/106) reported an increased severity. Most of the respondents felt that violence included witnessing verbal abuse (76%) and witnessing physical threats or assaults (86%). Sixty respondents (57%) were physically assaulted in 1996. Overall, 51 respondents (48%) reported impaired job performance for the rest of the shift or the rest of the week after an incident of violence. Seventy-seven respondents (73%) were afraid of patients as a result of violence, almost half (49%) hid their identities from patients, and 78 (74%) had reduced job satisfaction. Over one-fourth of the respondents (27/101) took days off because of violence. Of the 18 respondents no longer working in the emergency department, 12 (67%) reported that they had left the job at least partly owing to violence. Twenty-four-hour security and a workshop on violence prevention strategies were felt to be the most useful potential interventions. Physical exercise, sleep and the company of family and friends were the most frequent coping strategies. INTERPRETATION: Violence in the emergency department is frequent and has a substantial effect on staff well-being and job satisfaction.
PMCID: PMC1230785  PMID: 10584084
4.  Workplace violence in a large correctional health service in New South Wales, Australia: a retrospective review of incident management records 
Little is known about workplace violence among correctional health professionals. This study aimed to describe the patterns, severity and outcomes of incidents of workplace violence among employees of a large correctional health service, and to explore the help-seeking behaviours of staff following an incident.
The study setting was Justice Health, a statutory health corporation established to provide health care to people who come into contact with the criminal justice system in New South Wales, Australia. We reviewed incident management records describing workplace violence among Justice Health staff. The three-year study period was 1/7/2007-30/6/2010.
During the period under review, 208 incidents of workplace violence were recorded. Verbal abuse (71%) was more common than physical abuse (29%). The most (44%) incidents of workplace violence (including both verbal and physical abuse) occurred in adult male prisons, although the most (50%) incidents of physical abuse occurred in a forensic hospital. Most (90%) of the victims were nurses and two-thirds were females. Younger employees and males were most likely to be a victim of physical abuse. Preparing or dispensing medication and attempting to calm and/or restrain an aggressive patient were identified as ‘high risk’ work duties for verbal abuse and physical abuse, respectively. Most (93%) of the incidents of workplace violence were initiated by a prisoner/patient. Almost all of the incidents received either a medium (46%) or low (52%) Severity Assessment Code. Few victims of workplace violence incurred a serious physical injury – there were no workplace deaths during the study period. However, mental stress was common, especially among the victims of verbal abuse (85%). Few (6%) victims of verbal abuse sought help from a health professional.
Among employees of a large correctional health service, verbal abuse in the workplace was substantially more common than physical abuse. The most incidents of workplace violence occurred in adult male prisons. Review of the types of adverse health outcomes experienced by the victims of workplace violence and the assessments of severity assigned to violent incidents suggests that, compared with health care settings in the community, correctional settings are fairly safe places in which to practice.
PMCID: PMC3496587  PMID: 22873176
Workplace violence; Correctional health professionals; Incident management
5.  An epidemiological study of the magnitude and consequences of work related violence: the Minnesota Nurses' Study 
Aims: To identify the magnitude of and potential risk factors for violence within a major occupational population.
Methods: Comprehensive surveys were sent to 6300 Minnesota licensed registered (RNs) and practical (LPNs) nurses to collect data on physical and non-physical violence for the prior 12 months. Re-weighting enabled adjustment for potential biases associated with non-response, accounting for unknown eligibility.
Results: From the 78% responding, combined with non-response rate information, respective adjusted rates per 100 persons per year (95% CI) for physical and non-physical violence were 13.2 (12.2 to 14.3) and 38.8 (37.4 to 40.4); assault rates were increased, respectively, for LPNs versus RNs (16.4 and 12.0) and males versus females (19.4 and 12.9). Perpetrators of physical and non-physical events were patients/clients (97% and 67%, respectively). Consequences appeared greater for non-physical than physical violence. Multivariate modelling identified increased rates for both physical and non-physical violence for working: in a nursing home/long term care facility; in intensive care, psychiatric/behavioural or emergency departments; and with geriatric patients.
Conclusions: Results show that non-fatal physical assault and non-physical forms of violence, and relevant consequences, are frequent among both RNs and LPNs; such violence is mostly perpetrated by patients or clients; and certain environmental factors appear to affect the risk of violence. This serves as the basis for further analytical studies that can enable the development of appropriate prevention and control efforts.
PMCID: PMC1763639  PMID: 15150388
6.  Violence toward physicians in emergency departments of Morocco: prevalence, predictive factors, and psychological impact 
Anyone working in the hospital may become a victim of violence. The effects of violence can range in intensity and include the following: minor physical injuries, serious physical injuries, temporary or permanent physical disability, psychological trauma, and death. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of exposure, characteristics, and psychological impact of violence toward hospital-based emergency physicians in Morocco.
This was a survey including emergency physicians who ensured emergency service during the last fortnight. The variables studied were those related to the victim (age and gender), and those related to aggression: assaulter gender, number, time, reason (delay of consultation and/or care, acute drunkenness, neuropsychiatric disease), and type (verbal abuse, verbal threat and/or physical assault). After the questionnaire was completed, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) of Spielberg was applied to all participants.
A total of 60 physicians have achieved permanence in emergency department during the 15 days preceding the questionnaire response. The mean age was 24 ± 1 year and 57% were male. A total of 42 (70%) had been exposed to violence. The violence occurred at night n = 16 (27%), afternoon n = 13 (22%), evening n = 7 (12%) and morning n = 6 (10%). Reasons for violence were: the delay of consultation or care in n = 31 (52%) cases, acute drunkenness in n = 10 (17%) cases and neuropsychiatric disease in n = 3 (5%) cases. Twenty eight (47%) participants stated that they experienced verbal abuse, n = 18 (30%) verbal threat and n = 5 (8.3%) physical assault. Exposure to some form of violence was related to a higher median [interquartile range, IQR] state anxiety point (SAP); (51 [46-59] vs 39 [34-46]; P < 0,001), and trait anxiety point (TAP) (48 [41-55] vs 40,5 [38-53]; P = 0,01).
This study revealed a high prevalence (70%) of violence toward doctors in Morocco emergency departments. The exposure of physicians to some form of violence is greater among doctors with anxiety trait and was related to significant degree of anxiety state.
PMCID: PMC2954930  PMID: 20920159
7.  The prevalence of exposure to domestic violence and the factors associated with co-occurrence of psychological and physical violence exposure: a sample from primary care patients 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:621.
Since many health problems are associated with abuse and neglect at all ages, domestic violence victims may be considered as a group of primary care patients in need of special attention.
The aim of this multi-centre study was to assess the prevalence of domestic violence in primary care patients, and to identify those factors which influence the co-occurrence of psychological and physical violence exposure and their consequences (physical, sexual and reproductive and psychological) as obtained from medical records.
A study was carried out in 28 family practices in Slovenia in 2009. Twenty-eight family physicians approached every fifth family practice attendee, regardless of gender, to be interviewed about their exposure to domestic violence and asked to specify the perpetrator and the frequency. Out of 840 patients asked, 829 individuals, 61.0% women (n = 506) and 39.0% men (n = 323) were assessed (98.7% response rate). They represented a randomised sample of general practice attendees, aged 18 years and above, who had visited their physician for health problems and who were given a physical examination. Visits for administrative purposes were excluded.
Multivariate binary logistic regression analysis was used to determine the factors associated with exposure to both psychological and physical violence.
Of 829 patients, 15.3% reported some type of domestic violence experienced during the previous five years; 5.9% reported physical and 9.4% psychological violence; of these 19.2% of men and 80.8% of women had been exposed to psychological violence, while 22.4% of men and 77.6% of women had been exposed to physical violence. The domestic violence victims were mostly women (p < 0.001) aged up to 35 years (p = 0.001). Exposure to psychological violence was more prevalent than exposure to physical violence. Of the women, 20.0% were exposed to either type of violence, compared to 8.0% of male participants, who reported they were rarely exposed to physical violence, while women reported often or constant exposure to physical violence. Their partners were mostly the perpetrators of domestic violence towards women, while amongst men the perpetrators were mostly other family members.
In univariate analysis female gender was shown to be a risk factor for domestic violence exposure. Regression modelling, explaining 40% of the variance, extracted two factors associated with psychological and physical violence exposure: the abuse of alcohol in the patient (OR 4.7; 95% CI 1.54-14.45) and their unemployment (OR 13.3; 95% CI 1.53-116.45).
As far as the study design permits, the identified factors associated with both psychological and physical violence exposure could serve as determinants to raise family physicians' awareness when exploring the prevalence of domestic violence. The results of previous research, showing at least 15% prevalence of exposure to domestic violence among primary care patients in Slovenia, and the female gender as a risk factor, were confirmed.
PMCID: PMC3160996  PMID: 21816070
Domestic violence; Physical Violence; Psychological Violence; Violence Prevalence; Risk Factors; Primary Care
8.  Development of a Data Collection Instrument for Violent Patient Encounters against Healthcare Workers 
Healthcare and social workers have the highest incidence of workplace violence of any industry. Assaults toward healthcare workers account for nearly half of all nonfatal injuries from occupational violence. Our goal was to develop and evaluate an instrument for prospective collection of data relevant to emergency department (ED) violence against healthcare workers.
Participants at a high-volume tertiary care center were shown 11 vignettes portraying verbal and physical assaults and responded to a survey developed by the research team and piloted by ED personnel addressing the type and severity of violence portrayed. Demographic and employment groups were compared using the independent-samples Mann-Whitney U Test.
There were 193 participants (91 male). We found few statistical differences when comparing occupational and gender groups. Males assigned higher severity scores to acts of verbal violence versus females (mean M,F=3.08, 2.70; p<0.001). While not achieving statistical significance, subgroup analysis revealed that attending physicians rated acts of verbal violence higher than resident physicians, and nurses assigned higher severity scores to acts of sexual, verbal, and physical violence versus their physician counterparts.
This survey instrument is the first tool shown to be accurate and reliable in characterizing acts of violence in the ED across all demographic and employment groups using filmed vignettes of violent acts. Gender and occupation of ED workers does not appear to play a significant role in perception of severity workplace violence.
PMCID: PMC3556953  PMID: 23358263
9.  Witnessing Violence Toward Siblings: An Understudied but Potent Form of Early Adversity 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(12):e28852.
Research on the consequences of witnessing domestic violence has focused on inter-adult violence and most specifically on violence toward mothers. The potential consequences of witnessing violence to siblings have been almost entirely overlooked. Based on clinical experience we sought to test the hypothesis that witnessing violence toward siblings would be as consequential as witnessing violence toward mothers. The community sample consisted of unmedicated, right-handed, young adults who had siblings (n = 1,412; 62.7% female; 21.8±2.1 years of age). History of witnessing threats or assaults to mothers, fathers and siblings, exposure to parental and sibling verbal abuse and physical abuse, sexual abuse and sociodemographic factors were assessed by self-report. Symptoms of depression, anxiety, somatization, anger-hostility, dissociation and ‘limbic irritability’ were assessed by rating scales. Data were analyzed by multiple regression, with techniques to gauge relative importance; logistic regression to assess adjusted odds ratios for clinically-significant ratings; and random forest regression using conditional trees. Subjects reported witnessing violence to siblings slightly more often than witnessing violence to mothers (22% vs 21%), which overlapped by 51–54%. Witnessing violence toward siblings was associated with significant effects on all ratings. Witnessing violence toward mother was not associated with significant effects on any scale in these models. Measures of the relative importance of witnessing violence to siblings were many fold greater than measures of importance for witnessing violence towards mothers or fathers. Mediation and structural equation models showed that effects of witnessing violence toward mothers or fathers were predominantly indirect and mediated by changes in maternal behavior. The effects of witnessing violence toward siblings were more direct. These findings suggest that greater attention be given to the effects of witnessing aggression toward siblings in studies of domestic violence, abuse and early adversity.
PMCID: PMC3244412  PMID: 22216127
10.  Frequency and severity of aggressive incidents in acute psychiatric wards in Switzerland 
Aggression and violence and negative consequences thereof are a major concern in acute psychiatric inpatient care globally. Variations in study designs, settings, populations, and data collection methods render comparisons of the incidence of aggressive behaviour in high risk settings difficult.
To describe the frequency and severity of aggressive incidents in acute psychiatric wards in the German speaking part of Switzerland.
We conducted a prospective multicentre study on 24 acute admission wards in 12 psychiatric hospitals in the German speaking part of Switzerland. Aggressive incidents were recorded by the revised Staff Observation Aggression Scale (SOAS-R) and we checked the data collection for underreporting. Our sample comprised 2344 treatment episodes of 2017 patients and a total of 41'560 treatment days.
A total of 760 aggressive incidents were registered. We found incidence rates per 100 treatment days between 0.60 (95% CI 0.10–1.78) for physical attacks and 1.83 (1.70–1.97) for all aggressive incidents (including purely verbal aggression). The mean severity was 8.80 ± 4.88 points on the 22-point SOAS-R-severity measure; 46% of the purely verbally aggression was classified as severe (≥ 9 pts.). 53% of the aggressive incidents were followed by a coercive measure, mostly seclusion or seclusion accompanied by medication. In 13% of the patients, one ore more incidents were registered, and 6.9% of the patients were involved in one ore more physical attack. Involuntary admission (OR 2.2; 1.6–2.9), longer length of stay (OR 2.7; 2.0–3.8), and a diagnosis of schizophrenia (ICH-10 F2) (OR 2.1; 1.5–2.9) was associated with a higher risk for aggressive incidents, but no such association was found for age and gender. 38% of the incidents were registered within the first 7 days after admission.
Aggressive incidents in acute admission wards are a frequent and serious problem. Due to the study design we consider the incidence rates as robust and representative for acute wards in German speaking Switzerland, and thus useful as reference for comparative and interventional research. Implications for clinical practice include the recommendation to extend the systematic risk assessment beyond the first days after admission. The study confirms the necessity to differentiate between types of aggressive behaviour when reporting and comparing incidence-data.
PMCID: PMC2231349  PMID: 18053203
11.  Violence towards health care workers in a Public Health Care Facility in Italy: a repeated cross-sectional study 
Violence at work is one of the major concerns in health care activities. The aim of this study was to identify the prevalence of physical and non-physical violence in a general health care facility in Italy and to assess the relationship between violence and psychosocial factors, thereby providing a basis for appropriate intervention.
All health care workers from a public health care facility were invited to complete a questionnaire containing questions on workplace violence. Three questionnaire-based cross-sectional surveys were conducted. The response rate was 75 % in 2005, 71 % in 2007, and 94 % in 2009. The 2009 questionnaire contained the VIF (Violent Incident Form) for reporting violent incidents, the DCS (demand/control/support) model for job strain, the Colquitt 20 item questionnaire for perceived organizational justice, and the GHQ-12 General Health Questionnaire for the assessment of mental health.
One out of ten workers reported physical assault, and one out of three exposure to non-physical violence in the workplace in the previous year. Nurses and physicians were the most exposed occupational categories, whereas the psychiatric and emergency departments were the services at greatest risk of violence. Workers exposed to non-physical violence were subject to high job strain, low support, low perceived organizational justice, and high psychological distress.
Our study shows that health care workers in an Italian local health care facility are exposed to violence. Workplace violence was associated with high demand and psychological disorders, while job control, social support and organizational justice were protective factors.
PMCID: PMC3464150  PMID: 22551645
Aggression; Violence at the workplace; Health care workers; Post-traumatic stress; Organizational justice; Work stress; Social support; Job control; Demand; Psychological disorders.
12.  Perception of Occupational Risks and Practices of Self-protection from Infectious Diseases Among Workers in Contact with International Migrants at Hungary’s Border 
Objective: The purpose of the present study was to investigate employees’ self-assessments of their occupational risks and health awareness as well as their perception of preventive methods. We also aimed to collect data on employees’ perception of some selected alarming signs and symptoms that may encourage them to take further actions (such as separation and calling an ambulance).
Participants and methods: Between April and June 2013, an anonymous questionnaire survey was conducted with the participation of 70 employees working with migrants (both health-care and non-health-care staff) in 10 Hungarian settlements: 4 border crossing points along the eastern Schengen borderline, 3 asylum detention centers and 3 reception centers.
Results: Our results demonstrated an increased perception of certain biological and mental health hazards at work among those working with migrants: 63.7% of the health-care workers and even 37.3% of the non-health-care staff come into contact with human secretions (feces, urine, saliva) “frequently” or “sometimes”. Self-assessed awareness of the signs and symptoms of infectious diseases was poor: only 12.8% of participants evaluated their awareness as “good” or “very good”. Threat of verbal violence may be considered a common mental risk at work for participants: 35% “sometimes” or “frequently” and 5% “always” face verbal violence during their work. The most commonly used preventive measures against infectious diseases included the use of gloves, masks and disinfectants; these were generally available to 70 to 80% of the workers and properly applied.
Conclusions: Our results indicate considerable deficiencies in the participants’ preparedness in respect to their occupational health-related issues. Since it is essential for those having daily physical contact with migrants during their work to be properly informed about the occupational health hazards and consequences that may be associated with international migration, their training programs urgently require further development. More comprehensive knowledge may improve the preventive attitudes of employees, and conscious application of preventive measures may contribute to better public and occupation health safety.
PMCID: PMC4310152  PMID: 25648905
occupational health; international migration; health hazards; questionnaire survey
13.  The Exploding Spark: Workplace Violence in an Infectious Disease Hospital—A Longitudinal Study 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:316358.
Objectives. Workplace violence (WV) is an important occupational hazard for healthcare workers (HCWs). Methods. A longitudinal study was carried out on HCWs from an infectious disease hospital. Work-related stress, anxiety, and depression were measured at baseline in 2003, and they were reassessed in 2005, along with the assaults that occurred in the previous year. Results. One-year prevalences of 6.2% and 13.9% were reported for physical and verbal aggressions, respectively. Perpetrators were mainly patients. The professional groups most frequently attacked were physicians, followed by nurses. Workers with job strain at baseline had a significant risk of being subject to aggression (OR 7.7; CI 95%, 3.3–17.9) in the following year. The relationship between job strain and subsequent WV remained significant even after correction for anxiety, depression, and other confounders. Conversely, experiencing WV was associated with a high risk of job strain and effort-reward imbalance in the following year. The final levels of anxiety and depression were predicted using regression models that included physical aggression among predictive variables. Conclusions. WV is the spark that sets off a problematic work situation. Effective prevention of WV can only be achieved within the framework of an overall improvement in the quality of work.
PMCID: PMC3708405  PMID: 23936789
14.  Workplace violence against physicians and nurses in Palestinian public hospitals: a cross-sectional study 
Violence against healthcare workers in Palestinian hospitals is common. However, this issue is under researched and little evidence exists. The aim of this study was to assess the incidence, magnitude, consequences and possible risk factors for workplace violence against nurses and physicians working in public Palestinian hospitals.
A cross-sectional approach was employed. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data on different aspects of workplace violence against physicians and nurses in five public hospitals between June and July 2011. The questionnaires were distributed to a stratified proportional random sample of 271 physicians and nurses, of which 240 (88.7%) were adequately completed. Pearson’s chi-square analysis was used to test the differences in exposure to physical and non-physical violence according to respondents’ characteristics. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were used to assess potential associations between exposure to violence (yes/no) and the respondents’ characteristics using logistic regression model.
The majority of respondents (80.4%) reported exposure to violence in the previous 12 months; 20.8% physical and 59.6% non-physical. No statistical difference in exposure to violence between physicians and nurses was observed. Males’ significantly experienced higher exposure to physical violence in comparison with females. Logistic regression analysis indicated that less experienced (OR: 8.03; 95% CI 3.91-16.47), and a lower level of education (OR: 3; 95% CI 1.29-6.67) among respondents meant they were more likely to be victims of workplace violence than their counterparts. The assailants were mostly the patients' relatives or visitors, followed by the patients themselves, and co-workers. Consequences of both physical and non-physical violence were considerable. Only half of victims received any type of treatment. Non-reporting of violence was a concern, main reasons were lack of incident reporting policy/procedure and management support, previous experience of no action taken, and fear of the consequences.
Healthcare workers are at comparably high risk of violent incidents in Palestinian public hospitals. Decision makers need to be aware of the causes and potential consequences of such events. There is a need for intervention to protect health workers and provide safer hospital workplaces environment. The results can inform developing proper policy and safety measures.
PMCID: PMC3541970  PMID: 23256893
Workplace violence; Hospitals; Health care workers; Nurses and physicians; Palestine
15.  Identifying Experiences of Physical and Psychological Violence in Childhood that Jeopardize Mental Health in Adulthood 
Child abuse & neglect  2010;34(3):161-171.
This study examined associations between profiles of physical and psychological violence in childhood from parents and two dimensions of mental health in adulthood (negative affect and psychological well-being). Profiles were distinguished by the types of violence retrospectively self-reported (only physical, only psychological, or both psychological and physical violence), as well as by the frequency at which each type of violence reportedly occurred (never, rarely, or frequently).
Multivariate regression models were estimated using data from the National Survey of Midlife in the U.S. (MIDUS). An adapted version of the Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS) was used to collect respondents' reports of physical and psychological violence in childhood from each parent. Respondents also reported on current experiences of negative affect and psychological well-being.
Regarding violence from mothers, reports of frequent psychological violence—even when coupled with never or rarely having experienced physical violence—were associated with more negative affect and less psychological well-being in adulthood. Nearly all profiles of violence in childhood from fathers—with the exception of reports of rare physical violence only—were associated with poorer adult mental health.
Results provide evidence that frequent experiences of psychological violence from parents—even in the absence of physical violence and regardless of whether such violence is from mothers or fathers—can place individuals' long-term mental health at risk. Moreover, frequent physical violence from fathers—even in the absence of psychological violence—also serves as a risk factor for poorer adult mental health.
Practice implications
Findings provide additional empirical support for the importance of prevention and intervention efforts directed toward children who experience physical and psychological violence from parents—even among adults who reportedly experienced only one type of violence and especially among adults who reportedly experienced psychological violence from either mothers or fathers at high levels of frequency.
PMCID: PMC2838932  PMID: 20223518
16.  Childhood Bullying Involvement and Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence 
Pediatrics  2006;118(2):e235-e242.
Our objectives with this study were to describe the prevalence of bullying involvement (ie, bullying and victimization) among children from a multigenerational study and to examine the relationship of these childhood behaviors and exposure to intimate partner violence.
A community-based cohort of 112 children (aged 6 to 13 years) was asked to self-report on physical, verbal, and relational types of bullying and victimization experienced in the past year. Parents reported on their child’s externalizing and internalizing behaviors during the previous 6 months using items from Achenbach’s Child Behavior Checklist. The frequency of parental experiences of intimate partner violence perpetration and victimization at 2 time points during the preceding 5 years was measured using Conflict Tactics Scale items. The association of intimate partner violence and parent-reported child behavioral problems was examined, followed by exposure to intimate partner violence and child-reported bullying or victimization. Parental risk factors (eg, race/ethnicity, education, problem drinking) that predispose to intimate partner violence were controlled for using propensity score statistical modeling.
Eighty-two (73.2%) children reported being victimized by peers, and 38 (33.9%) children reported bullying behaviors in the past year. More reports came from girls than from boys (55% for victimization and 61% for bullying). Almost all (97%) child bullies were also victims themselves. Intimate partner violence was reported by parent respondents in 53 (50.5%) households at any or both of the 2 time points. Exposure to intimate partner violence was not associated with child-reported relational bullying behaviors or victimization by peers, However, intimate partner violence–exposed children were at increased risk for problematic levels of externalizing behavior/physical aggression and internalizing behaviors.
In our sample, children who were 6 to 13 years of age reported a substantial amount of bullying and victimization; a large majority were bully-victims and female. Regression analyses did not show that children who were exposed to intimate partner violence were more likely to engage in relational bullying. However, children who are exposed to intimate partner violence have a higher likelihood of internalizing behaviors and physical aggression.
PMCID: PMC2270412  PMID: 16882768
bullying; intimate partner violence; behavior disorders/problems
17.  Violence in primary care: Prevalence and follow-up of victims 
BMC Family Practice  2006;7:15.
Primary care physicians underestimate the prevalence of domestic violence and community violence. Victims are therefore at risk of further episodes of violence, with psychological and physical consequences. We used an interview to assess the prevalence of domestic and community violence among Swiss natives and foreigners. In a follow-up study, we evaluated the consequences of the interview for the positive patients.
We evaluated the prevalence of violence by use of a questionnaire in an interview, in an academic general internal medicine clinic in Switzerland. In a follow-up, we evaluated the consequences of the interview for positive patients. The participants were 38 residents and 446 consecutive patients. Questionnaires were presented in the principal language spoken by our patients. They addressed sociodemographics, present and past violence, the security or lack of security felt by victims of violence, and the patients' own violence. Between 3 and 6 months after the first interview, we did a follow-up of all patients who had reported domestic violence in the last year.
Of the 366 patients included in the study, 36 (9.8%) reported being victims of physical violence during the last year (physicians identified only 4 patients out of the 36), and 34/366 (9.3%) reported being victims of psychological violence. Domestic violence was responsible for 67.3% of the cases, and community violence for 21.8%. In 10.9% of the cases, both forms of violence were found.
Of 29 patients who reported being victims of domestic violence, 22 were found in the follow-up. The frequency of violence had diminished (4/22) or the violence had ceased (17/22).
The prevalence of violence is high; domestic violence is more frequent than community violence. There was no statistically significant difference between the Swiss and foreign patients' responses related to the rates of violence. Patients in a currently violent relationship stated that participating in the study helped them and that the violence decreased or ceased a few months later.
PMCID: PMC1421406  PMID: 16526962
18.  Prevalence and structural correlates of gender based violence among a prospective cohort of female sex workers 
Objective To examine the prevalence and structural correlates of gender based violence against female sex workers in an environment of criminalised prostitution.
Design Prospective observational study.
Setting Vancouver, Canada during 2006-8.
Participants Female sex workers 14 years of age or older (inclusive of transgender women) who used illicit drugs (excluding marijuana) and engaged in street level sex work.
Main outcome measure Self reported gender based violence.
Results Of 267 female sex workers invited to participate, 251 women returned to the study office and consented to participate (response rate of 94%). Analyses were based on 237 female sex workers who completed a baseline visit and at least one follow-up visit. Of these 237 female sex workers, 57% experienced gender based violence over an 18 month follow-up period. In multivariate models adjusted for individual and interpersonal risk practices, the following structural factors were independently correlated with violence against female sex workers: homelessness (adjusted odds ratio for physical violence (aORphysicalviolence) 2.14, 95% confidence interval 1.34 to 3.43; adjusted odds ratio for rape (aORrape) 1.73, 1.09 to 3.12); inability to access drug treatment (adjusted odds ratio for client violence (aORclientviolence) 2.13, 1.26 to 3.62; aORphysicalviolence 1.96, 1.03 to 3.43); servicing clients in cars or public spaces (aORclientviolence 1.50, 1.08 to 2.57); prior assault by police (aORclientviolence 3.45, 1.98 to 6.02; aORrape 2.61, 1.32 to 5.16); confiscation of drug use paraphernalia by police without arrest (aORphysicalviolence 1.50, 1.02 to 2.41); and moving working areas away from main streets owing to policing (aORclientviolence 2.13, 1.26 to 3.62).
Conclusions Our results demonstrate an alarming prevalence of gender based violence against female sex workers. The structural factors of criminalisation, homelessness, and poor availability of drug treatment independently correlated with gender based violence against street based female sex workers. Socio-legal policy reforms, improved access to housing and drug treatment, and scale up of violence prevention efforts, including police-sex worker partnerships, will be crucial to stemming violence against female sex workers.
PMCID: PMC2725271  PMID: 19671935
19.  Violence in general practice: a survey of general practitioners' views. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1991;302(6772):329-332.
OBJECTIVE--To survey the extent of abuse and violence directed towards general practitioners during the course of their professional duties and to categorize the characteristics of such aggression. DESIGN--Retrospective survey of the views of a large sample of general practitioners by using a piloted postal questionnaire. SETTING--All medical practices in the west midlands. SUBJECTS--A total of 1093 general practitioners (40.6% of the total sample) who responded to the questionnaire. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE--Number of incidents of aggression experienced by the general practitioners during a period of 12 months and the incidence of various precipitating factors. RESULTS--Although the response was low at 40.6%, this study is the largest published database on aggression towards family doctors. In all, 687 (62.9%) of the responders had experienced abuse or violence during the previous 12 months, and 191 (17.5%) had experienced some sort of abuse at least once a month and 11 (1%) had experienced verbal abuse every day. Even assuming that all of the non-responders did not experience any violence, then aggression in patients affects 25.5% of general practitioners in the west midlands. For those practitioners who had experienced aggression in patients the annual incidence of an event per general practitioner was 2.42. In all, 96 (14%) of these general practitioners thought that aggression was increasing. A total of 1520 (91.3%) of all incidents comprised verbal abuse or threats with no direct physical act. The surgery was the commonest location for aggression, with 942 (56.6%) incidents; however, 90 (62.5%) of the incidents involving assault or injury occurred during domiciliary visits and 22 (66%) of the injuries were received during night calls. Relatives were the aggressors in 668 (37.6%) cases, anxiety was a precipitant in 435 (25.7%) cases, and a long wait in 183 (10.8%). CONCLUSIONS--Violence towards general practitioners is common and may be increasing. Some of the precipitants of aggression are potentially avoidable and practices should make strenuous attempts to identify such factors and remedy them. Staff training in interpersonal skills and recognising anxious or intoxicated patients is essential and should be supplemented by consideration of surgery layout and repair. Doctors should avoid delays for patients by rearranging booking policies or surgery times and lengths. Victims of aggression must be followed up. A prospective study or centralised recording of incidents should be funded.
PMCID: PMC1669032  PMID: 2001509
20.  Treatment, Services and Follow-up for Victims of Family Violence in Health Clinics in Maputo, Mozambique 
Family violence (FV) is a global health problem that not only impacts the victim, but the family unit, local community and society at large.
To quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate the treatment and follow up provided to victims of violence amongst immediate and extended family units who presented to three health centers in Mozambique for care following violence.
We conducted a verbally-administered survey to self-disclosed victims of FV who presented to one of three health units, each at a different level of service, in Mozambique for treatment of their injuries. Data were entered into SPSS (SPSS, version 13.0) and analyzed for frequencies. Qualitative short answer data were transcribed during the interview, coded and analyzed prior to translation by the principal investigator.
One thousand two hundred and six assault victims presented for care during the eight-week study period, of which 216 disclosed the relationship of the assailant, including 92 who were victims of FV. Almost all patients (90%) waited less than one hour to be seen, with most patients (67%) waiting less than 30 minutes. Most patients did not require laboratory or radiographic diagnostics at the primary (70%) and secondary (93%) health facilities, while 44% of patients received a radiograph at the tertiary care center. Among all three hospitals, only 10% were transferred to a higher level of care, 14% were not given any form of follow up or referral information, while 13% required a specialist evaluation. No victims were referred for psychological follow-up or support. Qualitative data revealed that some patients did not disclose violence as the etiology, because they believed the physician was unable to address or treat the violence-related issues and/or had limited time to discuss.
Healthcare services for treating the physical injuries of victims of FV were timely and rarely required advanced levels of medical care, but there were no psychological services or follow-up referrals for violence victims. The healthcare environment at all three surveyed health centers in Mozambique does not encourage disclosure or self-report of FV. Policies and strategies need to be implemented to encourage patient disclosure of FV and provide more health system-initiated victim resources.
PMCID: PMC3117612  PMID: 21731793
21.  Caregiver Reports of Patient-Initiated Violence in Psychosis 
Aggressive behaviour in psychosis is not uncommon. Community provision for people with psychosis has left informal caregivers to take on a greater role in their care. However, few studies have explored links between patient-initiated violence in mental health caregiving relationships and caregiver functioning. Our study investigated caregiver reports of aggressive acts committed by their relative with psychosis and their links to caregiver appraisals of the caregiving relationship and caregiver outcomes.
Caregivers of patients with a recent relapse of psychosis, recruited to a psychological therapy trial, completed the audiotaped Camberwell Family Interview at baseline. This semi-structured interview includes questions on the quality of the relationship between caregiver and patient, and patient history of violence. Seventy-two transcripts of interviews were assessed for reports of patient-initiated violence.
One-half of the caregiver sample (52.9%) reported an incident of patient-initiated violence during their interview; 62.2% of these involved violence toward themselves, and 24.3% toward property. Reports of patient violence were associated with caregiver ratings of hostility expressed toward patients, lower self-esteem, and emotion-focused coping. People caring on their own were more likely to report incidents of patient violence. Younger patients, males, and inpatients were more frequently identified as having a history of this kind of violence.
Our findings suggested that caregiver reports of patient-initiated violence in psychosis are not uncommon. Mental health staff need to be aware of the risks of such violence for caregivers of people with psychosis, and consider appropriate procedures for minimizing it.
Clinical Trial Registration Number: ISRCTN83557988
PMCID: PMC4086313  PMID: 25007421
caregivers; psychosis; violence
22.  Acceptance of routine or case-based inquiry for intimate partner violence: a mixed method study 
The prevalence and detrimental health effects of intimate partner violence have resulted in international discussions and recommendations that health care professionals should screen women for intimate partner violence during general and antenatal health care visits. Due to the lack of discussion on routine or case-based inquiry for intimate partner violence during antenatal care in Germany, this study seeks to explore its acceptability among pregnant German women.
A mixed methods approach was used, utilizing a self-administered survey on the acceptability of routine or case-based inquiry for intimate partner violence in a university hospital’s maternity ward in Munich and in-depth interviews with seven women who experienced violence during pregnancy.
Of the 401 women who participated in the survey, 92 percent were in favor of routine or case-based inquiry for intimate partner violence during antenatal care. Acceptance of routine or case-based inquiry for intimate partner violence during antenatal care was significantly associated with women’s experiences of child sexual abuse, being young, less educated, single or divorced and smoking during pregnancy. Open-ended survey questions and in-depth interviews stressed adequate training for screening, sufficient time and provision of referral information as important conditions for routine or case-based inquiry for intimate partner violence.
Women in this study showed an overwhelming support for routine or case-based screening for intimate partner violence in antenatal care in Germany. Until adequate training is in place to allow providers to inquire for intimate partner violence in a professional manner, this study recommends that health care providers are made aware of the prevalence and health consequences of violence during pregnancy.
PMCID: PMC3616868  PMID: 23531127
Violence; Routine inquiry; Case-based inquiry; Antenatal care; Germany; Mixed methods
23.  Intimate Partner Violence and Incident Depressive Symptoms and Suicide Attempts: A Systematic Review of Longitudinal Studies 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(5):e1001439.
Karen Devries and colleagues conduct a systematic review of longitudinal studies to evaluate the direction of association between symptoms of depression and intimate partner violence.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Depression and suicide are responsible for a substantial burden of disease globally. Evidence suggests that intimate partner violence (IPV) experience is associated with increased risk of depression, but also that people with mental disorders are at increased risk of violence. We aimed to investigate the extent to which IPV experience is associated with incident depression and suicide attempts, and vice versa, in both women and men.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies published before February 1, 2013. More than 22,000 records from 20 databases were searched for studies examining physical and/or sexual intimate partner or dating violence and symptoms of depression, diagnosed major depressive disorder, dysthymia, mild depression, or suicide attempts. Random effects meta-analyses were used to generate pooled odds ratios (ORs). Sixteen studies with 36,163 participants met our inclusion criteria. All studies included female participants; four studies also included male participants. Few controlled for key potential confounders other than demographics. All but one depression study measured only depressive symptoms. For women, there was clear evidence of an association between IPV and incident depressive symptoms, with 12 of 13 studies showing a positive direction of association and 11 reaching statistical significance; pooled OR from six studies = 1.97 (95% CI 1.56–2.48, I2 = 50.4%, pheterogeneity = 0.073). There was also evidence of an association in the reverse direction between depressive symptoms and incident IPV (pooled OR from four studies = 1.93, 95% CI 1.51–2.48, I2 = 0%, p = 0.481). IPV was also associated with incident suicide attempts. For men, evidence suggested that IPV was associated with incident depressive symptoms, but there was no clear evidence of an association between IPV and suicide attempts or depression and incident IPV.
In women, IPV was associated with incident depressive symptoms, and depressive symptoms with incident IPV. IPV was associated with incident suicide attempts. In men, few studies were conducted, but evidence suggested IPV was associated with incident depressive symptoms. There was no clear evidence of association with suicide attempts.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Depression and suicide are responsible for a substantial proportion of the global disease burden. Depression—an overwhelming feeling of sadness and hopelessness that can last for months or years—affects more than 350 million people worldwide. It is the eleventh leading cause of global disability-adjusted life-years (a measure of overall disease burden), and it affects one in six people at some time during their lives. Globally, about a million people commit suicide every year, usually because they have depression or some other mental illness. Notably, in cross-sectional studies (investigations that look at a population at a single time point), experience of intimate partner violence (IPV, also called domestic violence) is strongly and consistently associated with both depressive disorders and suicide. IPV, like depression and suicide, is extremely common—in multi-country studies, 15%–71% of women report being physically assaulted at some time during their lifetime. IPV is defined as physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse; men as well as women can be the victims of IPV.
Why Was This Study Done?
It may seem obvious to assume that IPV is causally related to subsequent depression and suicidal behavior. However, cross-sectional studies provide no information about causality, and it is possible that depression and/or suicide attempts cause subsequent IPV or that there are common risk factors for IPV, depression, and suicide. For example, individuals with depressive symptoms may be more accepting of partners with characteristics that predispose them to use violence, or early life exposure to violence may predispose individuals to both depression and choosing violent partners. Here, as part of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, the researchers investigate the extent to which experience of IPV is associated with subsequent depression and suicide attempts and vice versa in both men and women by undertaking a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies that have examined IPV, depression, and suicide attempts. A systematic review uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic, meta-analysis combines the results of several studies, and longitudinal studies track people over time to investigate associations between specific characteristics and outcomes.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 16 longitudinal studies involving a total of 36,163 participants that met their inclusion criteria. All the studies included women, but only four also included men. All the studies were undertaken in high- and middle-income countries. For women, 11 studies showed a statistically significant association (an association unlikely to have occurred by chance) between IPV and subsequent depressive symptoms. In a meta-analysis of six studies, experience of IPV nearly doubled the risk of women subsequently reporting depressive symptoms. In addition, there was evidence of an association in the reverse direction. In a meta-analysis of four studies, depressive symptoms nearly doubled the risk of women subsequently experiencing IPV. IPV was also associated with subsequent suicide attempts among women. For men, there was some evidence from two studies that IPV was associated with depressive symptoms but no evidence for an association between IPV and subsequent suicide attempt or between depressive symptoms and subsequent IPV.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that women who are exposed to IPV are at increased risk of subsequent depression and that women who are depressed are more likely to be at risk of IPV. They also provide evidence of an association between IPV and subsequent suicide attempt for women. The study provides little evidence for similar relationships among men, but additional studies are needed to confirm this finding. Moreover, the accuracy of these findings is likely to be affected by several limitations of the study. For example, few of the included studies controlled for other factors that might have affected both exposure to IPV and depressive symptoms, and none of the studies considered the effect of emotional violence on depressive symptoms and suicide attempts. Nevertheless, these findings have two important implications. First, they suggest that preventing violence against women has the potential to reduce the global burden of disease related to depression and suicide. Second, they suggest that clinicians should pay attention to past experiences of violence and the risk of future violence when treating women who present with symptoms of depression.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Alexander Tsai
The US National Institute of Mental Health provides information on all aspects of depression and of suicide and suicide prevention (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides detailed information about depression, including personal stories about depression, and information on suicide and its prevention; it has a webpage about domestic violence, which includes descriptions of personal experiences
The World Health Organization provides information on depression, on the global burden of suicide and on suicide prevention, and on intimate partner violence (some information in several languages)
MedlinePlus provides links to other resources about depression, suicide, and domestic violence (in English and Spanish)
The charity Healthtalkonline has personal stories about depression and about dealing with suicide
PMCID: PMC3646718  PMID: 23671407
24.  Violence Victimization, Sexual Risk and STI Symptoms Among a National Sample of FSWs in Thailand 
Sexually transmitted infections  2010;86(3):236-240.
Commercial sex work is widely recognized as a primary context for heterosexual transmission of HIV/AIDS in many regions, including Southeast Asia. While violence victimization is considered to compromise women’s ability to protect against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), with female sex workers (FSWs) uniquely affected, little research has investigated the role of violence as it relates to sexual risk and STI outcomes among FSWs. The current study sought to compare experiences of sexual risk and STI symptoms among FSWs based on their recent exposure to violence.
Data from a national sample of FSWs in Thailand (n=815) was used to assess a) the prevalence of experiencing recent physical or sexual violence within the context of sex work, and b) associations of such victimization with sexual risk (i.e., anal sex, condom non-use, condom failure, client condom refusal) and self-reported STI symptoms.
Approximately 1 in 7 FSWs (14.6%) had experienced physical or sexual violence in the week prior to the survey. As compared with their non-victimized counterparts, FSWs exposed to recent violence were at greater risk for recent condom failure (19.6% vs. 12.3%, ARR 1.92, 95% CI 1.24, 2.95) and client condom refusal (85.7% vs. 69.0%, ARR 1.24, 95% CI 1.14, 1.35). In analyses adjusted for sexual risk, violence related to both STI symptoms collectively (ARR 1.11, 95% CI 1.02, 1.21) and genital lesions as an individual STI symptom (ARR 1.78, 95% CI 1.20, 2.66).
Physical and sexual violence against FSWs in Thailand appears to be a common experience, with victims of such violence demonstrating diminished capacity for STI/HIV harm reduction and greater prevalence of STI symptoms. Comprehensive efforts to reduce violence towards this vulnerable population must be prioritized, as a means of protecting the human rights of FSWs, and as a key component of STI/HIV prevention and control.
PMCID: PMC3578319  PMID: 20444745
Sex work; Violence; STI symptoms; Sexual Risk; Thailand
25.  Risk factors for work related violence in a health care organization 
Injury Prevention  2004;10(5):296-302.
Objective: Identify the exposure effects of job family, patient contact, and supervisor support on physical and non-physical work related violence.
Design: Cross sectional study of employees in a Midwest health care organization, utilizing a specially designed mailed questionnaire and employer secondary data.
Subjects: Respondents included 1751 current and former employees (42% response rate).
Results: Physical and non-physical violence was experienced by 127 (7.2%) and 536 (30.6%) of the respondents, respectively. Multivariate analyses of physical violence identified increased odds for patient care assistants (odds ratio (OR) 2.5, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1. 1 to 6.1) and decreased odds for clerical workers (OR 0.1, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.5). Adjusted for job family, increased odds of physical violence were identified for moderate (OR 5.9, 95% CI 2.1 to 16.0) and high (OR 7.8, 95% CI 2.9 to 20.8) patient contact. Similar trends were identified for non-physical violence (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.0 and OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.3 to 2.3). Increased supervisor support decreased the odds of both physical (OR 0.7, 95% CI 0.6 to 0.95) and non-physical violence (OR 0.5, 95% CI 0.4 to 0.6), adjusting for job family and demographic characteristics.
Conclusions: Increased odds of physical violence were identified for the job family of nurses, even when adjusted for patient contact. Increased patient contact resulted in increased physical and non-physical violence, independent of job family, while supervisor support resulted in decreased odds of physical and non-physical violence.
PMCID: PMC1730138  PMID: 15470011

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