Violence Against Healthcare Professionals in Nishtar Medical University Hospital Multan, Pakistan: A Descriptive Cross-Sectional Study

Muhammad Ishfaq, Mehwish Sagheer Khan, Alvina Dilshad



This study aims to identify the risk factors of physical violence against healthcare professionals in Nishtar Hospital Multan Pakistan.

Study design

Descriptive cross-sectional study

Place and duration of study

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Nishtar Medical University Multan, Pakistan. The time span of study was from January 2016 to December 2017.


A non-probabilistic strategy was used to select 200 healthcare professionalswho were serving at Nishtar hospital Multan Pakistan. We first obtained lists of all healthcare workers employed at our university hospital from hospital management and human resource department. We combined these lists, assigned a number to the name of each worker, and selected an average of 200 personnel from our university hospital. The study samples included doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff (e.g., medical technicians and administrative staff). All the members of study population were well informed of the purposes and methods of the study. Then we distributed the questionnaire. All the healthcare professionals responded as per their opinion and experiences and submitted it to a specified box. The dara were retrieved and analyzed by using computer program SPSS 20 version.


Out of total study population a total of eighty six (43%) healthcare professionals reported that they were physically attacked in their hospital in the previous 12 months. Most of the time this illegal action was performed by the relatives of the patients (88 %), followed by the patient (12%); 73.6% of perpetrators young aged between 20 to 40 years of age. Pertaining to physical violence incidents, approximately 91% (n = 182) resulted in a physical injury, and 55.4% of respondents took two or three days of sick leave after sustaining that physical injury. Surprisingly, the reporting of workplace violence in hospitals to law enforcing agencies and higher authorities of hospital administration was considerably low (12.4%). Most of the healthcare professionals (87%) did not receive training on how to avoid workplace violence (n=174). The study showed that general nurses, aged 35 years or younger, were more likely to experience physical violence. Healthcare professionals with direct physical contact (washing, turning, lifting) with patients had a higher risk of physical violence compared to other health care workers. The lengthy and cumbersome legal and administrative delays in the procedures for reporting workplace violence were a major cause for physical violence. At work place, the reporting of incidence after psychological violence was protective than to waiting until an instance of physical violence takes palce.


Physical violence in hospitals is an occupational hazard for public health concern. Policy makers and higher authorities should introduce legal procedures and intervention to cope with this serious issue.

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