Prevalence of workplace violence, actions of healthcare workers in case of violence and the impact of violence on their quality of life and workplace experience in Rokiskis mental institutions

Dominyka Martinėlytė1, Agnė Skvarnavičiūtė1, Benjaminas Burba2


   1Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Medical Academy, Faculty of Medicine

   2 Department of Psychiatry, Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania



Background. Violence in the workplace, especially in the healthcare sector, is a sensitive problem and a cause for concern worldwide including Lithuania, but is rarely reported. Violence eventually leads to a poorer quality of life and work for healthcare workers.

The aim of this study is to evaluate the prevalence of workplace violence against healthcare workers, find out the actions of healthcare workers in cases of workplace violence and to assess the impact of workplace violence on the quality of life and workplace experience of healthcare workers in Rokiskis mental institutions.

Materials and methods.  A multiple-choice anonymous questionnaire survey was carried out in the Rokiskis psychiatric hospital and Rokiskis mental health center. The survey involved 58 respondents. The research was approved by the LSMU Bioethics Center (BEC – MF – 274).

Results. Seventy per cent of respondents reported at least one type of workplace violence in the last year. Psychological violence is the major type of workplace violence experienced by healthcare workers. 60.3% experienced incidents of psychological violence like abuse (50.0%), threats (51.7%), bullying (31.0%), sexual harassment (6.9%).

Conclusions. Respondents most often experienced violence from patients, the main causes are patient’s mental health condition and unsatisfied claim of the abuser. Respondents who experienced any kind of violence were usually inclined to seek social support from colleagues, defended themselves by telling the abuser to stop, calling for help.  Physical violence and sexual harassment have a long-term negative impact on employee well-being and workplace experience.

Keywords: Workplace violence, healthcare workers, psychiatry hospitals.