Antecedents of medical workplace violence in South China

J Interpers Violence. 2011 Jan;26(2):312-27. doi: 10.1177/0886260510362885. Epub 2010 May 10.


It has been noted that workplace violence most frequently occurs in hospitals. The purpose of this study was to explore antecedents of workplace violence in south China. The authors conducted face-to-face, in-depth, semistructured interviews with 30 hospital staff who had experienced at least one incident of workplace violence from patients during the past 12 months at three general hospitals in south China. The interviews were tape-recorded, then transcribed, and analyzed. The authors' analyses identified five major antecedents of workplace violence. First, 93.0% of medical workplace violence was related to insufficient communication between hospital staff and patients. Second, inadequate medical service quality was found to be a factor in 56.7% of the incidences. Third, unsatisfactory treatment outcome was reported in 60.0%. Fourth, heavy workload accounted for 43.3%. Fifth, patient frustration due to high medical expenses was reported in 40.0% of cases. The authors recommended a reengineering of hospital service delivery to create a more supportive and safer working environment for prevention of workplace violence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • China
  • Communication
  • Female
  • Health Expenditures
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data
  • Personnel, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Workplace
  • Young Adult