Violence at work and its relationship with burnout, depression and anxiety in healthcare professionals of the emergency services


The aim of this study was to examine the possible relationship between physical and psychological aggression suffered in the workplace and professional burnout, depression and anxiety suffered by healthcare professionals of the emergency services. Methods: 315 physicians, nurses, orderlies and ambulance drivers of Critical Care and Emergency Devices (CCED) in the Andalusian Public Health System, in the province of Granada (Spain) participated. They were interviewed about the exposure to violence at work and answered a battery of questions that measured burnout, depression and anxiety. Results: Physical aggression was significantly related to emotional exhaustion, personal accomplishment at work, depression and anxiety. Psychological aggression was associated with personal accomplishment. Logistic regression showed that the CCED professionals who have suffered physical aggression were 4.2 and 2.6 times more likely to have suffered anxiety and reduced personal accomplishment, respectively, than those who did not suffer physical aggression. On the other hand, feelings of anxiety and reduced personal accomplishment increase the professionals’ risk (3.4 and 2.1 times more likely, respectively) of suffering from physical aggression. Conclusion: The results suggest that exposure to violence is related to the other psychological problems tested: emotional exhaustion and personal accomplishment (two components of burnout), depression and anxiety. In addition, physical violence is a risk factor for anxiety and diminished personal accomplishment of the CCED professionals.

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Roldán, G. , Salazar, I. , Garrido, L. and Ramos, J. (2013) Violence at work and its relationship with burnout, depression and anxiety in healthcare professionals of the emergency services. Health, 5, 193-199. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.52027.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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