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UP medical colleges survey: Nearly 87 pc Young doctors, age group 20-30 victims of Violence

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Workplace Violence has become a worldwide menace that has grabbed the medical fraternity and has hit its reputation enormously. A recent survey in the state of Uttar pradeshhas reported that nearly 87% doctors have witnessed WPV in the past 12 months.

The survey results revealed that almost 70% of the resident doctors have experienced workplace violence in one or the other form where violence by patient’s relatives was most prevalent.

The results were form a multicentric cross‑sectional study conducted by doctors Geetu Singh, Akash Singh, Shobha Chaturvedi and Samreen Khan in government medical colleges of Uttar Pradesh from November 2017 to January 2018. 305 doctors were part of the study. The 3rd‑year resident doctors from three colleges (Agra, Aligarh, and Jhansi).

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All resident doctors working for at least 1 year in the hospital were eligible for the study. Residents from clinical departments (surgery, orthopedics, medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, ophthalmology, anesthesia, pediatrics, ENT, and radiology) were included. Those who did not give consent were excluded.

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To evaluate the frequency of workplace violence faced by health care professionals, the authors used an anonymous, pretested, prevalidated, self‑administered questionnaire.

The questionnaire has five sections: profile of participants, prevalence and type of workplace violence (WPV), consequences, as well as influence of WPV, perceived reasons, and measures to prevent WPV and worry level about violence among doctors.

For the survey, the authors defined workplace violence or WPV as physical violence refers to physical attacks resulting in physical and psychological harm, including hitting, kicking, shooting, barring, pushing, biting, and other violent acts, such as sexual harassment and rape; psychological violence is the intentional act against the person or collective force that results in physical, mental, spiritual, moral, and social damages, including insults, threats, attacks, verbal abuse, and harassment. This definition has been given by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is widely used by researchers worldwide.

Out of total of 305 resident doctors participated in the study, 98 (32.1%) were female and 207 (67.9%) were male. Majority of the participants (81.9%) were of the age group of 20–30 years and from the departments of surgery, orthopedics, medicine, obstetrics, and gynecology.

Key findings of the study showed

  • Nearly 87% have witnessed WPV in the past 12 months.
  • Thirty percent said that they have witnessed violence several times in a month.
  • It was observed that out of 212 participants who were victims of violence, 70% were exposed to verbal abuse, followed by physical (47.2%) and threat (20%).
  • In some incidents of physical violence, sticks, knives, and furniture were used to thrash doctors.
  • The most common place of violence was emergency department (ED) (68.4%) and wards (30.1%).
  • Incidents occurred during day (43.4%), evening (42.3%), or night (48.1%).
  • In most incidents, relatives and attendants (69.3%) were involved in violence.
  • Political leaders and even police were found to be perpetrators in some incidents.
  • The participants stated that in most instances (35.3%), no action was taken immediately in regard to violence.
  • Some of the immediate actions were verbal warning issued to perpetrators, the incident reported to police, and care given to patients discontinued.
  • In none of the cases, an aggressor was prosecuted.
  • Half of the respondents stated that it was useless to report the matter
  • Sixty‑five percent of doctors said that the incident could be prevented and 85% felt that dissatisfied the way the incident was handled.
  • 3% of study participants reported that they had repeated disturbing memories, thoughts, or images of the attack while 70% mentioned that they even avoided thinking about or talking about the attack.
  • However, just 2.3% skipped their duties even after being bothered about such incidents of violence.

Most Common Causes of  Violence

The survey revealed the common causes of violence as Nonavailability of medicines (38.6%) and less staff (36.7%) were cited as major reasons behind violence. 20% Doctors said miscommunication and ineffective communication (14.7%) between attendants and doctors as factors for trigger of violence many times.

Measures suggested by the Doctors

While most demand legal measures to be in place to counteract the growing instance of the violence, survey revealed showed that more than 50% doctors believed more hospital staff to help reduce violence. Some measures suggested by doctors include

  • More hospital staff (56.3%)
  • Better management of the system (50.8%)
  • Security and law (48.1%)
  • More medicine supply (31.1%)

For read the original study, click on the link

Singh G, Singh A, Chaturvedi S, Khan S. Workplace violence against resident doctors: A multicentric study from government medical colleges of Uttar Pradesh. Indian J Public Health [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Jun 28];63:143-6. Available from:

Source: self
1 comment(s) on UP medical colleges survey: Nearly 87 pc Young doctors, age group 20-30 victims of Violence

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  1. It is really pathetic.An individual with a true service motive struggles hard to qualify in NEET & studies hard for years.Even students in private medical colleges have to spend huge amount of their hard earned money to become doctor.Doctors have been a soft target.Doctors are true servants of society but they are always subjected to constant violence & threat.Even when doctors go for strike there is no public support at all.Of course,in last strike in West Bengal there was good public support which is certainly an exception.Even during strike public become hostile towards doctors in stead of showing sympathy.But what is the use of going on strike & how long ? In last few years number of strikes by doctors has reached a record level & it is a bad reputation for the profession – it may label doctors as anarchist.Innocent & honest doctors are penalized for others\’ fault. If there is shortage of staff what the doctor will do ? If there is no medicine what the doctor will do ?If the lab machines are not working what the doctor will do ?If the patient dies even after treatment what the doctor will do?Govt is not doing its primary duty of preventive healthcare like pollution control,checking malnutrition,providing safe drinking water,good roads ,afforestation,providing adequate number of medical staff & medicines etc.The article & study is alarming.Situation of doctors & hospitals is pitiable.

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