Objectives: This paper provides a quantitative review that estimates exposure rates by type of violence, setting, source, and world region.
Design: A quantitative review of the nursing violence literature was summarized.
Data sources: A literature search was conducted using the CINAHL, Medline and PsycInfo data bases. Studies included had to report empirical results using a nursing sample, and include data on bullying, sexual harassment, and/or violence exposure rates. A total of 136 articles provided data on 151,347 nurses from 160 samples.
Procedure: Articles were identified through a database search and by consulting reference lists of review articles that were located. Relevant data were coded by the three authors. Categories depended on the availability of at least five studies. Exposure rates were coded as percentages of nurses in the sample who reported a given type of violence. Five types of violence were physical, nonphysical, bullying, sexual harassment, and combined (type of violence was not indicated). Setting, timeframe, country, and source of violence were coded.
Results: Overall violence exposure rates were 36.4% for physical violence, 66.9% for nonphysical violence, 39.7% for bullying, and 25% for sexual harassment, with 32.7% of nurses reporting having been physically injured in an assault. Rates of exposure varied by world region (Anglo, Asia, Europe and Middle East), with the highest rates for physical violence and sexual harassment in the Anglo region, and the highest rates of nonphysical violence and bullying in the Middle East. Regions also varied in the source of violence, with patients accounting for most of it in Anglo and European regions, whereas patents' families/friends were the most common source in the Middle East.
Conclusions: About a third of nurses worldwide indicated exposure to physical violence and bullying, about a third reported injury, about a quarter experienced sexual harassment, and about two-thirds indicated nonphysical violence. Physical violence was most prevalent in emergency departments, geriatric, and psychiatric facilities. Physical violence and sexual harassment were most prevalent in Anglo countries, and nonphysical violence and bullying were most prevalent in the Middle East. Patients accounted for most physical violence in the Anglo region and Europe, and patient family and friends accounted for the most in the Middle East.
Keywords: Bullying; Nonphysical violence; Physical violence; Sexual harassment.
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