Prevalence and effect of workplace violence against emergency nurses at a tertiary hospital in Kenya: a cross-sectional study
School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa
Introduction: Workplace violence (WPV) is a major occupational and health hazard for nurses. It affects nurses’ physical and psychological well-being and impacts health service delivery. We aimed to assess the prevalence and describe the consequences of WPV experienced by nurses working in an emergency department in Kenya.
Methods: We conducted a descriptive cross-sectional study among emergency nurses at one of the largest tertiary hospitals in Kenya. We collected data using a structured questionnaire adapted from the ‘WPV in the Health Sector, Country Case Studies Research Instruments’ questionnaire. We described the prevalence and effects of WPV using frequencies and percentages.
Results: Of the 82 participating nurses, 64.6% were female, 57.3% were married and 65.8% were college-educated (65.8%). Participants’ mean age was 33.8 years (standard deviation: 6.8 years, range: 23–55). The overall lifetime prevalence of WPV was 81.7% (n = 67, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 71.6%–88.8%) and the 1-year prevalence was 73.2% (n = 63, 95% CI: 66.3–84.8%). The main WPV included verbal abuse, physical violence, and sexual harassment. Most incidents were perpetrated by patients and their relatives. No action was taken in 50% of the incidents, but 57.1% of physical violence incidents were reported to the hospital security and 28.6% to supervisors. Perpetrators of physical violence were verbally warned (42.9%) and reported to the hospital security (28.6%).
Conclusion: Workplace violence is a significant problem affecting emergency nurses in Kenya. Hospitals should promote workplace safety with zero-tolerance to violence. Nurses should be sensitised on WPV to mitigate violence and supported when they experience WPV.
Safety and Health at Work
(2021). Prevalence and effect of workplace violence against emergency nurses at a tertiary hospital in Kenya: a cross-sectional study. Safety and Health at Work, 1-18.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/eastafrica_fhs_sonam/350