Bullying among nurses and its effects

Int Nurs Rev. 2009 Dec;56(4):504-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1466-7657.2009.00745.x.


Background: The victims of bullying are subjected to being terrorized, annoyed, excluded, belittled, deprived of resources, isolated and prevented from claiming rights. The victims of bullying have decreased job satisfaction, work performance, motivation and productivity. Bullying also negatively affects victims' social relationships inside and outside the institution.

Objectives: This study was conducted as a cross-sectional and descriptive study for the purpose of assessing the workplace, bullying of nurses in Turkey and the effects it has on nursing practices.

Method: The sample was composed of 286 nurses, and all of the respondents were female. The research instrument was a questionnaire in five parts. The first section included the participants' demographic information; the other variables were measured in four categories: psychologically violent behaviours, workload, organizational effects and depression.

Findings: Thirty-seven per cent of the nurses participating in the research had never or almost never encountered workplace bullying behaviour in the last 12 months, 21% of the nurses had been exposed to these behaviours. There were no differences between position and educational level in workplace bullying. Workplace bullying leads to depression, lowered work motivation, decreased ability to concentrate, poor productivity, lack of commitment to work, and poor relationships with patients, managers and colleagues.

Conclusion: Workplace bullying is a measurable problem that negatively affects the psychology and performance of the nurses in this study.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Burnout, Professional / epidemiology
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Facility Environment
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Motivation
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / education
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Occupational Health
  • Regression Analysis
  • Social Behavior*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Turkey / epidemiology
  • Violence / psychology
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data
  • Workload / psychology
  • Workload / statistics & numerical data
  • Workplace / organization & administration
  • Workplace / psychology*