Workplace Violence Against Physicians Treating COVID-19 Patients in Peru: A Cross-Sectional Study

Agueda Muñoz del Carpio-Toia, Lucía Begazo Muñoz del Carpio, Percy Mayta-Tristan, Dulce Esperanza Alarcón-Yaquetto, Germán Málaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented challenge to health systems that has revealed shortcomings and increased unmet demands. Such situations might exacerbate workplace violence (WPV) against physicians, as has been reported in several parts of the world. Methods: To identify the frequency and characteristics of WPV suffered by physicians attending COVID-19 patients in Peru, a descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted with an online survey of 200 physicians. Results: Of the survey respondents, 84.5% had suffered some type of WPV; 97.6% of these suffered nonphysical violence. Suffering more than one incident of violence was reported by 75.7% of respondents. The primary aggressor was a patient's family member or caregiver. Violence occurred most frequently in critical areas inside the health service facility, such as COVID-19 triage, tents, and hospital units, although it also occurred during teleconsultations. Multiple shortcomings of the health services were perceived as the main trigger of violence. Being a female physician (odds ratio [OR] = 2.48, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.06–5.83) and working in a COVID-19 ICU (OR = 5.84, 95% CI = 1.60–21.28) were the main factors associated with WPV. Conclusion: Violence against physicians attending COVID-19 patients in Peru is common. The perceived factors that contribute most to violence are linked to deficiencies in health services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-645
Number of pages9
JournalJoint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety
Volume47
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021

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