Project: Workplace violence against nurses in Hong Kong

Completed but not published

This project was submitted on 03/07/2014

Workplace violence against nurses is becoming more serious while the needs from nurses are increasing dramatically. It can undermine nurses’ personal health as well as their professionalisms. Few researches have been done in Hong Kong due to many reasons such as low reporting rate. The reality is always underestimated. The aim of this report is to evaluate the nature and extent of workplace violence which nurses are experiencing in hospitals. Literatures from the United States, Australia, Iran and Taiwan were reviewed for studying the prevalence of workplace violence against nurses as well as the risk factors related to violence. A survey with 41 questionnaires was completed by randomly selected nurses from different hospitals in Hong Kong (response rate: 48.2%). The demographic data was analyzed to determine the incidence and the contributing factors to violence in hospital.
About 68% of respondents experienced violence in the last 12 months, which was higher than that in Taiwan. The most prevalent violence was verbal abuse (70.7% of nurse experiencing),
followed by threatening or bullying behaviour (43.9%), physical assault (34.1%) and sexual harassment (17.1%). Patients and their relatives were the main attackers. Around one-third of
nurses did not report the incident since half of them believed that it was unless. By chi-square test, the occurrence of the violence was dependent on their public or private hospitals and dependent on direct physical contacts with patients. Besides, the violence was particularly serious in the accident & emergency ward (90% of nurses experiencing), followed by the psychiatric ward (77.8%). Most of the nurses though that the major contributing factors were
lack of staff, personal factors of attacker and communication skill of nurses. In order to deal with the problem, nurses believed that increasing manpower, improvement of security measures and
provision of training were essential. In this study, the data collection method which relied only on nurses’ memories would have been subjected to recall bias.
This research supported that nurses are at high risk of workplace violence, management level in hospitals and the general public should establish and maintain a zero tolerance to hospital violence.


Organisation: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU)

11 Yuk Choi Rd,
Hung Hom,
Hong Kong
+852 2766 5111

Principal Investigator: NG TSUI CHI

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