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Extent and risk factors of psychological violence towards physicians and Standardised Residency Training physicians: a Northern China experience

journal contribution
posted on 2021-01-17, 22:17 authored by H Fang, L Wei, J Mao, H Jia, P Li, Y Li, Y Fu, S Zhao, H Liu, K Jiang, M Jiao, H Qiao, Qunhong WuQunhong Wu
© 2020 The Author(s). Purpose: Physicians and Standardised Residency Training physicians (SRTPs) have relatively high exposure to psychological violence. Its adverse effects are far greater than those of physical violence. However, no previous research has paid attention to the problem of psychological violence among them. This study aims to evaluate the extent, characteristics, and risk factors of psychological violence among SRTPs in comparison to physicians, and also to highlight the psychological violence experienced by SRTPs and suggest preventive measures. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in northern China. 884 physicians and 537 SRTPs completed a questionnaire which compiled by the ILO, ICN, WHO and PSI in 2003 to measure violence in the workplace. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analysis were used to analyse results. Results: The effective response rates of physicians and SRTPs were 63.1%(884/1400) and 86.3%(537/622) respectively. 73.0%(645/884) of physicians and 24.8%(133/537) of SRTPs suffered psychological violence in the past year. Compared to physicians (29/645, 4.5%), SRTPs (42/133, 31.6%) experience more internal violence. Further, after experiencing psychological violence, physicians are willing to talk to family and friends, but SRTPs generally take no action. Shift work was a risk factor for both physicians (OR 1.440, 95% CI 1.014-2.203) and SRTPs (OR 1.851, 95% CI 1.217-2.815) suffering from psychological violence. In contrast, no anxiety symptoms protected physicians (OR 0.406, 95% CI 0.209-0.789) and SRTPs (OR 0.404, 95% CI 0.170-0.959) against psychological violence. Conclusions: SRTPs and physicians in northern China have a high risk of experiencing psychological violence, and physicians experience more. Meanwhile, there are obvious differences in responses to psychological violence and risk factors between them. Therefore, medical institutions should pay more attention to psychological violence, especially among SRTPs, such as supporting the reporting of psychological violence, strengthening team relationships, and providing psychological comfort and counselling. Trial registration number (Project Identification Code: HMUIRB20160014), Registered May 10, 2016.


This study was funded by the Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 71273002, 71473064); New Century Excellent Talents of University from the Ministry of Education, China (Grant No. 1252-NCET02); the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2015M570211, 2016T90181); the Heilongjiang Provincial Association of Social Sciences (15058), and the Collaborative Innovation Centre of Social Risks Governance in Health.


Publication Date



Health and Quality of Life Outcomes





Article Number



11p. (p. 1-11)


BioMed Central



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