Original Research

Self-reported incidents of violence towards nurses working in acute psychiatric units

Ntombiyakhe Bekelepi, Penelope Martin
Curationis | Vol 46, No 1 | a2350 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v46i1.2350 | © 2023 Ntombiyakhe Bekelepi, Penelope Martin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 June 2022 | Published: 29 June 2023

About the author(s)

Ntombiyakhe Bekelepi, School of Nursing, Faculty of Community Health Science, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
Penelope Martin, School of Nursing, Faculty of Community Health Science, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Acute psychiatric units are found to be stressful working environments because of the nature of illness patients present with.

Objectives: This study aimed to determine self-reported incidents of physical and verbal violence towards nurses working in acute psychiatric units in Western Cape, South Africa.

Method: A questionnaire was used to collect data. Chi-square test was performed to determine association between gender, category and experience of violence. Mann–Whitney U test was carried out to determine associations between years of employment and the likelihood of experiencing physical violence and verbal abuse.

Results: Overall physical violence 35 (34.3%) and verbal abuse 83 (83%) incidents. Most female respondents reported both physical violence (74.2%, n = 26) and verbal abuse (72.2%, n = 60), with (56.2%, n = 18) professional nurses reporting physical violence. Years of employment was statistically significantly associated with the likelihood of nurses experiencing physical violence (p = 0.007).

Conclusion: Most respondents (74.2%, n = 26) were females and they mostly experienced physical violence and verbal abuse while 28.2% (n = 29) were males. Years of service were associated with the likelihood of experiencing physical violence.

Contribution: The knowledge gained will add on existing knowledge about the challenge of violence experienced by nurses in the workplace and might have an influence on policymakers.


Keywords

acute psychiatric unit, nurses, physical violence, verbal abuse, violent incidents

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Crossref Citations

1. Prevalence and predictors of workplace violence against nurses in Africa: A systematic review and meta‐analysis
Emmanuel Ekpor, Emmanuel Kobiah, Samuel Akyirem
Health Science Reports  vol: 7  issue: 4  year: 2024  
doi: 10.1002/hsr2.2068