Do we feel safe and confident about workplace violence in the emergency departments?

Am J Emerg Med. 2022 Sep;59:9-14. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2022.06.040. Epub 2022 Jun 26.


Study objective: This study aimed to determine the relationship of safety and safety perception of physicians working in emergency departments with socio-demographic characteristics and working conditions.

Method: The study included physicians who work in the emergency department. An online questionnaire with two sections was used to collect data. The first section comprised 11 questions about the socio-demographic characteristics and working conditions. The second section comprised the Safety and Confidence Scale for Health Professionals (SCSHP) that assessed how safe physicians felt and how confident they were in the face of violence.

Results: A total of 402 participants were included in the study. The median score of the participants with less than one year of work experience was significantly lower than the other subgroups (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in the SCSHP score among other subgroups. The median SCSHP score of the male participants was higher than that of the female participants (p < 0.001). The median score of married participants was significantly higher than that of unmarried participants (p = 0.007). However, other characteristics didn't have a significant effect on SCSHP scores (p > 0.05). When the relationship between the working title and SCSHP score was examined, significant differences were found between faculty members and specialist doctors vs general practitioners (p = 0.005, 0.001, respectively), whereas no significant difference was found in SCSHP scores among other subgroups (p > 0.0125).

Conclusion: Among physicians working in the emergency department, those with less work experience, female physicians, and those who are unmarried feel less safe and confident about workplace violence.

Keywords: Confidence; Emergency medicine; Physician; Safety; Workplace violence.

MeSH terms

  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physicians*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workplace Violence* / prevention & control