Document Type

Review Article




Background: Workplace violence (WPV) is a global problem that affects healthcare workers' physical and mental health and impairs work performance. Pakistan's healthcare system is not immune to WPV, which the World Health Organization recognises as an occupational hazard.
Objectives: The primary objective of this systematic review is to determine the prevalence of physical, verbal, or other forms of WPV in healthcare workers in Pakistan. Secondary objectives include identifying the associated risk factors and perpetrators of WPV.
Methods: A systematic review of six electronic databases was conducted through August 2022. Studies were included if they met the following criteria: 1) healthcare workers (HCWs), including physicians, nurses, and paramedic staff working in the private or public sector of Pakistan; 2) exposure to physical, verbal, or any type of violence. Data were extracted and analysed for the prevalence of WPV, types of violence, associated risk factors, and perpetrators of violence.
Results: Twenty-four studies including 16,070 HCWs were included in this review. Verbal violence was the most common form of violence levied, with its highest prevalence (100%) reported in Islamabad and lowest verbal violence prevalence (25%) in Karachi. Verbal abuse was preponderant against female HCWs, while physical abuse was directed more towards males. The most common perpetrators were patient attendants, followed by the patients.
Conclusion: Our review determines a 25-100% prevalence of WPV against HCWs in Pakistani medical setups. This occupational hazard needs the attention of relevant authorities in the country to put protective enforcement policies in place. Large-scale surveys should be conducted to better gauge the current plight of HCWs in the nation.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

Global Health Action