Investigation of Frequency of Psychological Violence of Nursing Staff in Pediatric Hospitals

Introduction: Health professionals have been shown to confront more often with the phenomenon of psychological violence at workplace compared to other workers. This high frequency of occurrence among nurses reinforces the view that they are a vulnerable professional group more exposed to this phenomenon. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the existence and frequency of psychological violence in nursing staff of pediatric hospitals. Material and Method: The sample studied included nurses and nursing assistants from the largest public pediatric hospitals in Athens, the Children's Hospital "Agia Sofia" and the Athens Children's Hospital "P. & A. Kyriakou". For data collection, participants completed the French version of the Leymann Inventory of Psychological Terror (LIPT) questionnaire which was translated into Greek. A descriptive and statistical analysis was implemented the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS, version 22.0) and the statistic method t-test and Anova test were used. The level of statistical significance was set at 0.05. Results: The study sample consisted of 104 nurses in the large pediatric hospitals in Athens, where 87.5% were women. 65.9% had never received psychological violence. Of the 34.1% who accepted violence, 51.3% reported that they had been experiencing these conditions for more than a month, 22.3% for 12 months, and 7.0% over six months to five years, while 19,4% still faced such problems. Based on the definition of psychological violence at workplace, 34.1% responded positively and scored negatively in the total scale, p<0.001 as well as in sub-scales, influence on freedom of expression and communication, p<0.001, impact on social p=0.003, effect on professional status and quality of life, p<0.001, effect on personal reputation, p=0.031 and effect on physical health, p=0.004. Individuals who suffered psychological violence reported that this lasted longer than one month and scored negatively on the total score of the scale p<0,001. Regarding individuals from whom psychological violence is shown, in the sub-scale associated with the effect on freedom of expression and communication, they reported with statistically significant difference that it comes from direct supervisors p=0.003 as well as they scored negatively on the total score of the scale p=0.046. Conclusions: One third of pediatric hospital nurses have been the victims of psychological violence at workplace, and this violence mainly comes from individuals higher in hierarchy.