Bullying of trainee psychiatrists in Pakistan: a cross-sectional questionnaire survey.

Document Type





Objective: Bullying is widely prevalent in health care organizations and medical institutions. It leads to stress, anxiety, depression, sickness absences, and intention to leave the job. This issue has not been studied widely and thoroughly in most developing countries. Methods: The authors surveyed all postgraduate psychiatry trainees in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan, with a cross-sectional questionnaire. In addition to sociodemographic data, the questionnaire included a bullying scale that asked whether the respondents had experienced in the preceding 12 months any of the 21 bullying behaviors listed and who had perpetrated the bullying. Results: Out of 84 psychiatry trainees registered with the College of Physicians and Surgeons in May 2007, 60 participated in the survey. Eighty percent of participating trainees reported experiencing at least one bullying behavior in the preceding 12 months. There was no significant association between likelihood of experiencing bullying and any of the sociodemographic variables. However, in view of the small number of psychiatry trainees in Pakistan, this finding needs to be interpreted cautiously. Consultants were the most likely perpetrators of bullying. Conclusion: Most postgraduate psychiatry trainees in Pakistan have experienced bullying. Measures need to be taken to increase awareness of what constitutes bullying and how it affects its victims. It may be necessary to introduce antibullying policies at least at the organizational level.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Academic Psychiatry : The Journal of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training and the Association for Academic Psychiatry