Purpose. Violence in the workplace is a specific risk for healthcare workers. Radiologists, especially when involved in emergency services, share that risk. Very few studies in the literature have researched this topic. This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of violent behaviour in a large sample of Italian radiologists and analyse the phenomenon and its consequences with a view to proposing preventive measures. Materials and methods. A total of 992 radiologists (61.5% men) taking part in a national radiology congress agreed to respond to a questionnaire on violence that contained the Violent Incident Form by Arnetz for the description of violent incidents in healthcare practice. Results. Some 6.8% of radiologists in public hospitals experienced physical abuse in the previous 12 months, for the most part from patients or their companions. The prevalence of physical abuse is greatest among younger healthcare individuals with less clinical experience, with no differences between sexes. Among younger radiologists, one in five suffered at least one act of physical abuse in a working year. Nonphysical violence is more widespread and throughout radiologists' working lives affects 65.2% of them. In this case, almost half of the violent incidents originate from colleagues. A total of 5.5% of respondents stated that they were victims of abuse at the time of the survey. In most cases, the violent incidents remain unreported. The immediate consequences of violence in the workplace are emotions such as anger, disappointment, humiliation, anxiety, fear, distress, a feeling of helplessness and isolation, occasionally a feeling of guilt or of having done wrong and a desire to take revenge, change behaviour or change workplace. Conclusions. The extent of the problem calls for the adoption of a series of measures aimed at eliminating the causes of the various forms of workplace violence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging