Exploring workplace violence among home care workers in a consumer-driven home health care program

Workplace Health Saf. 2013 Oct;61(10):441-50. doi: 10.1177/216507991306101004. Epub 2013 Sep 23.


Nominal research has examined sexual harassment and workplace violence against home care workers within consumer-driven home care models such as those offered in Oregon. This study examined home care workers' experiences of violence while providing care to consumer employers, the patients who hire and manage home care workers. Focus groups and interviews were conducted in Oregon with 83 home care workers, 99 Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) employees, and 11 consumer employers. Home care workers reported incidents of workplace physical violence (44%), psychological abuse (65%), sexual harassment (41%), and sexual violence (14%). Further, three themes were identified that may increase the risk of workplace violence: (1) real and perceived barriers to reporting violence; (2) tolerance of violence; and (3) limited training to prevent violence. To ensure worker safety while maintaining quality care, safety policies and training for consumer employers, state DHS employees, and home care workers must be developed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Home Care Services*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health
  • Oregon
  • Workplace Violence / statistics & numerical data*