Half the doctors (especially women) at Safdarjung Hospital have experienced violence during working hours in the last one year, mostly by patients and their family members, says a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research last month. The study looked at workplace violence and associated risk factors experienced by doctors in a tertiary care hospital of south Delhi. According to the study, three-fourths (75.8 per cent) also said the violence, mostly verbal, affected their state of mind, which in turn affected their “studies, duties and personal life”.
The study was conducted in January 2016 on 151 respondents. Of these, 44.56 per cent male doctors and 50.84 per cent female doctors reported having experienced violence, of which maximum were reported from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (59.6 per cent).
In terms of the kind of violence, 87.3 per cent said they suffered verbal violence, followed by emotional violence. Only 8.6 per cent cases were of physical violence. Most of the incidents (35.1 per cent) occurred during the afternoon while 30.1 per cent occurred at night. The study notes that younger doctors with lesser work experience were more prone to physical violence.
It also notes a correlation between workplace violence and “increasing commercialisation”.
“Violence (verbal, physical and emotional type) within the hospitals has been recognised as a significant issue for health service providers in developing countries, where individuals are supposed to pay for their own health expenses which can be abnormally high many a times,” it says.
As far as the cause of violence was concerned, almost three-fourths (73.5 per cent) respondents “perceived long waiting periods as a cause of violence followed by delayed medical provision, violation of visiting hours and patient’s dissatisfaction with nursing staff”.