Non-physical violence: a risk factor for physical violence in health care settings

AAOHN J. 2006 Sep;54(9):397-402. doi: 10.1177/216507990605400903.


This research study assessed the extent to which non-physical violence is a risk factor for physical violence against workers in health care settings. More than 600 nursing staff, other clinical providers, and non-clinical staff in two health care settings completed a cross-sectional survey. For the preceding 12-month period, 72.8% of workers reported at least one incident of non-physical violence and 21.3% reported at least one incident of physical violence. Workers who had experienced non-physical violence were 7.17 times more likely to experience physical violence than those who had not. Both patients and employees were perpetrators of non-physical and physical violence. These results indicate efforts to prevent or reduce physical violence against health care workers need to focus on non-physical as well as physical violence and employee as well as patient perpetrators.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / psychology
  • Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Surveys
  • Hospitals, Veterans
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Midwestern United States / epidemiology
  • New England / epidemiology
  • Occupational Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prevalence
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Behavior*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Veterans / psychology
  • Violence / prevention & control
  • Violence / psychology
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Workplace / psychology
  • Workplace / statistics & numerical data*