Dealing with workplace violence in emergency primary health care: a focus group study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Background Prevention and management of workplace violence among health workers has been described in different health care settings. However, little is known about which phenomena the emergency primary health care (EPC) organization should attend to in their strategies for preventing and managing it. In the current study, we therefore explored how EPC personnel have dealt with threats and violence from visitors or patients, focusing on how organizational factors affected the incidents. Methods A focus group study was performed with a sample of 37 nurses and physicians aged 25–69 years. Eight focus group interviews were conducted, and the participants were invited to talk about their experiences of violence in EPC. Analysis was conducted by systematic text condensation, searching for themes describing the participants’ experiences. Results Four main themes emerged for anticipating or dealing with incidents of threats or violence within the system: (1) minimizing the risk of working alone, (2) being prepared, (3) resolving the mismatch between patient expectations and the service offered, and (4) supportive manager response. Conclusion Our study shows a potential for development of better organizational strategies for protecting EPC personnel who are at risk from workplace violence.