Workplace violence is an emergent issue on a global scale in the field of labour risks affecting all professions - and especially the health sector. Its prevention requires valid, reliable, situated and permanently updated information. Up until now such information has been obtained mainly from self-report surveys, with low response rates and considerable methodological problems of validity, due to the various biases involved. This article describes the design and the results of the implementation in several healthcare facilities in Catalonia (Spain) of the www.violenciaocupacional.net Web, a computerized system of on-line Violent Incident Notification (VIN). Furthermore, it describes the typology and prevalence of such violence in the studied sector, identifies its main risk factors and compares the data obtained with those from other relevant research. The Workplace Violence Questionnaire incorporated in this Web permits the integrated registration of the characteristics and circumstances of violent incidents against healthcare personnel in real time and with confidentiality. A single person notifies on-line the incidents from each health facility. This person would belong to the department of Human Resources or Prevention of Risks in the Workplace, and would be specially designated by his or her own facility or institution, which participates voluntarily in the project. During the period of 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2007, from the 38 participating facilities, employing some 18,500 people, 846 violent incidents were notified. Physical aggression was involved in 36% of cases and verbal aggression (sometimes accompanying the former) in 80%. The incidents affected nursing (48%), medical (32%), technical and administrative (13%), and other (7%) personnel. As an epidemiological database permanently updated in real time and from the same physical context as that of the incidents, the VIN system constitutes a novel tool for the collection of data on workplace violence in the healthcare sedor. The results of its application confirm the importance of the problem in the Catalonian health sector, support the findings of other local and international studies and identify some key variables for the development of preventive policies in this field.
|Journal||Papeles del Psicologo|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2008|
- Healthcare workers
- Violent incident notification
- Workplace violence