Assessment of Violence Directed at Resident Physicians Working in a University Hospital during COVID-19 Pandemic

Abstract views: 125 / PDF downloads: 46


  • Ayşe GÖKÇE İnönü Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi
  • Gülseda BOZ
  • Ali ÖZER
  • Fatma ÖZDEMİR



COVID-19, Physicians, Pandemics, Violence


Objective:  This study intends to evaluate the violence committed against the resident physicians who worked in a university hospital during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Methods: This cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted between September-October 2022. The required institutional permissions and ethics committee approval in order to conduct this study were obtained. The sample size of the research was calculated as 160 persons. This research was completed with these 163 persons who accepted to participate in it. With the questionnaire form prepared by the researchers of this study, the data of the research was gathered online. The chi-square test was used to assess the statistical analysis.

Results:   The average age of participants is 28 (24-52). The women make up 52.1 per cent of them. While the rate of physicians who had suffered from the violence was 40.5% this figure became 49.1% during COVID-19 outbreak. 93.8% of the physicians stated that they were exposed to verbal violence. 48% of the physicians expressed that they experienced violence for the first time, which respectively occurred in the emergency service (59.3%). 60% of women and 37.2% of men was subjected to violence during COVID-19. Therefore, the violence rate against female physicians is significantly higher than the rate for males (p=0.004). 

Conclusion: About half of the physicians participated in this research stated that they did not suffer from any violence either before or during COVID-19 outbreak. Almost all of the acts of violence occurred during the COVID-19 outbreak was verbal violence. The necessary measurements must be taken in emergency services where the acts of violence mostly happened in order to stop these incidents. As the physicians suffered highly from the violence during the COVID-19 outbreak and they largely suppose that the legal protection lacks to protect them against perpetrators, their professional motivation and psychological resilience may be badly affected.


Al Anazi, R. B., AlQahtani, S. M., Mohamad, A. E., Hammad, S. M., Khleif, H. (2020). Violence against Health-Care Workers in Governmental Health Facilities in Arar City, Saudi Arabia. The Scientific World Journal, 6380281.

Abed, M., Morris, E., Sobers-Grannum N. (2016) Workplace violence against medical staff in healthcare facilities in Barbados. Occup Med, 66(7),580–583.

Alhamad, R., Suleiman, A., Bsisu, I., Santarisi, A., Al Owaidat, A., Sabri, A., ... & Mahseeri, M. (2021). Violence against physicians in Jordan: an analytical cross-sectional study. PLoS one, 16(1), e0245192

Aygün, H., Metin, S. (2022). Sağlık Çalışanlarına Yönelik Şiddetin Pandemi ile İlişkisi. Anatolian Journal of Emergency Medicine, 5(1), 7-12.

Bayram, B., Çetin, M., Oray, N. Ç., Can, İ. Ö. (2017). Workplace violence against physicians in Turkey’s emergency departments: a cross-sectional survey. BMJ open, 7(6), e013568.

Celik S, Celik Y, Ağırbaş İ, Uğurluoğlu O. (2007) . Verbal and physical abuse against nurses in Turkey. Int Nurs Rev,54(4),359–66.

Chew, N. W., Lee, G. K., Tan, B. Y., Jing, M., Goh, Y., Ngiam, N. J.,& Sharma, V. K. (2020). A multinational, multicentre study on the psychological outcomes and associated physical symptoms amongst healthcare workers during COVID-19 outbreak. Brain Behav Immun, 88, 559-565.

Demirci, Ş., Uğurluoğlu, Ö. (2020) An evaluation of verbal, physical, and sexual violence against healthcare workers in Ankara, Turkey. J Forensic Nurs, 16(4),33-41

Devi S. (2020). COVID-19 exacerbates violence against health workers. Lancet, 396(10252), 658.

Er, T. , Ayoğlu, F. Açıkgöz, B. (2021). Sağlık çalışanına yönelik şiddet: Risk faktörleri, etkileri, değerlendirilmesi ve önlenmesi. Turk J Public Health,19(1), 69-78.

Hamzaoglu, N., Türk, B.(2019). Prevalence of Physical and Verbal Violence Against Health Care Workers in Turkey. Int J Health Serv,49(4),844-861.

Honarvar, B., Ghazanfari, N., Shahraki, H.R., Rostami, S., Lankarani, K.B. (2019) Violence against nurses: a neglected and health-threatening epidemic in the university affiliated public hospitals in shiraz, Iran. Int J Occupational Environ Med, 10(3),111–123.

ILO. (2002). International Labour Office/International Council of Nurses/World Health Organization/Public Services, International Framework Guidelines for Addressing Workplace Violence in the Health Sector Geneva, International Labour Office, s.3.

Li, N., Zhang, L., Xiao, G., Chen, J., Lu, Q. (2019). The relationship between workplace violence, job satisfaction and turnover intention in emergency nurses. Int Emerg Nurs, 45,50–55.

Liu, J., Gan, Y., Jiang, H., Li, L., Dwyer, R., Lu, K., …Lu, Z.(2019). Prevalence of workplace violence against healthcare workers: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Occup Environ Med,76(12),927-937.

Nowrouzi-Kia, B., Chai, E., Usuba, K., Nowrouzi-Kia, B., & Casole, J. (2019). Prevalence of Type II and Type III Workplace Violence against Physicians: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Int J Occup Environ Med, 10(3), 99-110.

Park, M., Cho, S.H., Hong, H.J. (2015) Prevalence and perpetrators of workplace violence by nursing unit and the relationship between violence and the perceived work environment. J Nurs Scholarsh, 47(1),87–95.

Pompeii, L.A., Schoenfisch, A.L., Lipscomb, H.J., Dement, J.M., Smith, C.D., Upadhyaya, M. (2015). Physical assault, physical threat, and verbal abuse perpetrated against hospital workers by patients or visitors in six U.S. Hospitals Am J Indust Med, 58(11),1194–1204.

Rafeea, F., Al Ansari, A., Abbas, E.M., Elmusharaf ,K., Abu Zeid, M.S. (2017). Violence toward health Workers in Bahrain Defense Force Royal Medical Services’ emergency department. OAEM, 9,113–121.

Sachdeva, S., Jamshed, N., Aggarwal, P., Kashyap, S.R. (2019). Perception of workplace violence in the emergency department. J Emerg Trauma, Shock 12(3):179–184.

Özdamar Ünal, G., İşcan, G., & Ünal, O. (2022). The occurrence and consequences of violence against healthcare workers in Turkey: before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Family practice, 39(6),1001-1008.

Verma, R., Bhalla, K., Dhaka, R., Agrawal, G., Dhankar, M., Singh, A., Kumar, G (2019).Violence against Doctor is a Threat in India: A Study in a Tertiary Care Institution. Indian Journal of Public Health Research & Development, 10(8),472-477.

Wen, L. S., Goodwin, K. E. (2016). Violence Is a Public Health Issue. Journal of public health management and practice : JPHMP, 22(6), 503–505.

WHOa. The VPA Approach. Available at: Accessed Date:12.10.2022

WHOb. Preventing violence against health workers. . Available at: Accessed Date:12.10.2022.

Yang Y, Li Y, An Y, Zhao YJ, Zhang L, Cheung T, Hall BJ, Ungvari GS, An FR, Xiang YT.(2021) Workplace Violence Against Chinese Frontline Clinicians During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Associations With Demographic and Clinical Characteristics and Quality of Life: A Structural Equation Modeling Investigation. Front Psychiatry, 15;12:649989.

Zafar, W., Khan, UR., Siddiqui, SA., Jamali, S., Razzak, JA.(2016). Workplace violence and self-reported psychological health: Coping with post-traumatic stress, mental distress, and burnout among physicians working in the emergency departments compared to other specialties in Pakistan. J Emerg Med,50,167–77e1.




How to Cite

GÖKÇE , A., BOZ , G., ÖZER, A., & ÖZDEMİR , F. (2023). Assessment of Violence Directed at Resident Physicians Working in a University Hospital during COVID-19 Pandemic. GEVHER NESIBE JOURNAL OF MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES, 8(1), 172–180.