Perpetrator, worker and workplace characteristics associated with patient and visitor perpetrated violence (Type II) on hospital workers: a review of the literature and existing occupational injury data

J Safety Res. 2013 Feb;44:57-64. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2012.09.004. Epub 2012 Nov 30.


Problem: Non-fatal type II violence experienced by hospital workers (patient/visitor-on-worker violence) is not well described.

Methods: Hospital administration data (2004-2009) were examined for purposes of calculating rates of type II violent events experienced by workers. We also conducted a review of the hospital-based literature (2000-2010) and summarized findings associated with type II violence.

Results: 484 physical assaults were identified in the data, with a rate of 1.75 events/100 full-time equivalents. Only few details about events were captured, while non-physical events were not captured. The literature yielded 17 studies, with a range proportion of verbal abuse (22%-90%), physical threats (12%-64%) and assaults (2%-32%) reported. The literature lacked rigorous methods for examining incidence and circumstances surrounding events or rates of events over time.

Discussion: For purposes of examining the impact of type II violence on worker safety, satisfaction and retention, rigorous surveillance efforts by hospital employers and researchers are warranted.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers / statistics & numerical data
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Personnel, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Safety
  • Visitors to Patients / statistics & numerical data
  • Workplace Violence / statistics & numerical data*