Workplace violence against emergency service nurses: an integrative review

Contreras Jofre et al.


Learn the worldwide frequency of physical and verbal violence against emergency service nurses, and its health and occupational impact.


An integrative review study was conducted in February 2020 of the MEDLINE, LILACS, CINAHL, and SciELO bibliographic databases, using the descriptors “Nurses,” “Workplace Violence,” “Physical Aggression,” “Psychological Aggression,” “Stress, Psychological,” “Psychological Trauma,” “Aggression,” “Health Impact Assessment,” “Health Impact,” “Impacts on Health,” “Impact Assessment, Health,” and “Occupational Health.”


Of the articles located, 18 were included in the analysis. The studies confirmed that the health workers most affected by violence were nurses, and the most common types of violence were verbal aggression, followed by physical violence. In the hospital, these assaults most often occurred in the emergency service. The correlated impact on nurses’ health included stress, emotional exhaustion, anxiety, and fear, among other symptoms. With regard to occupational impact, significant indirect accounts related to the reduction
in productivity were evident. All these aspects led nurses to consider leaving their jobs in emergency services.


The results enabled identifying a risk profile for violence against nurses in emergency services, seen in the high incidence of physical and verbal violence that led to reduced productivity on the job and the onset of symptoms of burnout syndrome.

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