Prevalence of workplace violence towards nurses at the government and private healthcare settings in Karachi, Pakistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MScN)


School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Workplace violence towards nurses is a worldwide problem. Among all healthcare workers, nurses are at a greater risk of being subjected to workplace violence. The present study identified the magnitude of the issue of violence towards nurses at the healthcare settings in Pakistan. Objective: This study aims to identify the prevalence and characteristics of physical and psychological violence experienced by nurses working in all the In-patient units and the Emergency Departments of two private and two government healthcare settings in Karachi, Pakistan. Method: This Cross-sectional study included 458 nurses from selected healthcare settings in Karachi, Pakistan. A simple random sampling method was used for the study. The instrument used for collecting the data was jointly developed by International Labour Office (ILO), International Council of Nurses (ICN), World Health Organization (WHO), and Public Services International (PSI).The primary investigator and the research assistant interviewed the participants to complete the study tool. Findings: The present study found that workplace violence was prevalent among 82% of the nurses. The reported prevalence of physical violence was 16.4%, verbal abuse 77.1% bullying/ mobbing behavior 33.8% and 10% for sexual violence. Prevalence of workplace violence was found to be higher in the private healthcare settings, among young female nurses with less work experience. These nurses specifically belonged to the Medical Surgical units, Intensive Care Units, and Emergency and Psychiatric departments. Most of them were working in shift duties. The most common perpetrators of physical violence towards nurses were found to be patients and their relatives, and for psychological violence it was patients' relatives and healthcare staff. Conclusion: This pioneer study is an attempt towards the implementation of one of the World Health Organization's (WHO) goals, that is, a violence free healthcare environment. The study also put forward some evidence based recommendations; based on the findings, for the government, the nursing services, nursing educators, and for future research.

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