Violence in healthcare at a glance: The example of the Turkish physician

Cevik M., GÜMÜŞTAKIM R. Ş., Bilgili P., Baser D. A., Doganer A., Saper S. H. K.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEALTH PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT, vol.35, no.6, pp.1559-1570, 2020 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 35 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/hpm.3056
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, ASSIA, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, Geobase, MEDLINE, PAIS International, Sociological abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1559-1570
  • Keywords: healthcare workers, law of health violence, perpetrator, physician, workplace violence, WORKPLACE VIOLENCE, RISK-FACTORS, WORKERS, NURSES, STAFF, FACILITIES
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Background Violence is an important public health problem that threatens the peace of mind in health institutions as well as in many other sectors. In recent studies, it was stated that violence occurs more frequently in healthcare centers compared to other establishments. In terms of being exposed to violence, healthcare personnel is at 16 times more risk. Violence against healthcare employees has increased gradually in Turkey and the world; it's a serious occupational hazard to consider. Aims The aim of our study was to analyze the situation about violence against physicians, to emphasize its importance, to shed light on preventive measures and to create programs and to raise awareness of violence against physicians. Methods This descriptive study was conducted between October-December 2017. A link was sent to the participants to participate voluntarily through the social media platforms mostly used by physicians and they were asked to fill out a questionnaire. Results 83.3% of the 948 physicians that participated have experienced at least one episode of violence so far. The most common type of violence was verbal. More than half of violent events occurred in hospitals. One-third of the physicians did nothing in the face of violence, more than half could not report this situation due to lack of time, only one-quarter of those who sought support received it. Only 23.7% of the perpetrators were punished, while physicians saw the lack of deterrent sanctions as the main cause of violence. While 90.2% of physicians feel occupational burnout, 81.6% thought that physicians can protect themselves through effective legislation against violence in healthcare. Conclusion The Law on Violence in Health should be enacted and put into practice as soon as possible.