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WORKPLACE VIOLENCE: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE RISK FACTORS AND IMPLICATIONS AMONG HEALTH CARE WORKERS IN CAMEROON

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WORKPLACE VIOLENCE: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE RISK FACTORS AND IMPLICATIONS AMONG HEALTH CARE WORKERS IN CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Workplace violence is a prominent issue in all sectors, but it presents distinct difficulties in the healthcare industry. Healthcare professionals face an increased risk owing to the inherent nature of their job, which often entails direct interaction with patients and their families, sometimes in emotionally charged circumstances. The objective of this research is to thoroughly evaluate the risk variables linked to workplace violence among healthcare professionals and examine its consequences on both people and the healthcare system.Workplace violence (WPV) refers to any occurrence in which workers are subjected to threats, harm, or physical assault either inside their workplace or as a consequence of their job responsibilities (Al-Shiyab, 2018). Aggression may be classified according to the kind of behaviour shown, such as physical, sexual, psychological, and verbal aggression. Violence may also be categorised based on its sources: a) internal violence, which is carried out by individuals who are both employers and employees inside the same firm; and b) external violence, which is perpetrated by those outside the organisation, such as customers and criminals (Murray, 2018). In the past, the focus has mostly been on physical violence in the workplace. However, recent data has shown that non-physical forms of violence, such as verbal and psychological abuse, can have harmful effects in the workplace (Murray, 2018). Occupations that need regular engagement with diverse groups, such as the public, are often related with violence and have become a major problem, especially in the healthcare sector (Zhang, 2018). Healthcare facilities are expected to provide a secure and favourable setting for both patients and healthcare professionals.  The presence of WPV will compromise the secure environment and pose a risk to the efficient provision of healthcare services.  Previous research have revealed a high prevalence (> 50%) of workplace violence in healthcare settings (Gadegaard, 2018). Among the four main types of WPV, prior data has shown that verbal abuse is the most widespread. Additionally, it has been found that the majority of violence is carried out by patients and their family (Gadegaard, 2018).  Prior research have found many psychological characteristics associated with workplace violence among healthcare professionals, including high job pressure, poor social support, and inadequate organisational justice (Vartia-Väänänen, 2019) . The Job Demand Control Support model suggests that these psychosocial elements combine and result in psychological distress among workers (Vartia-Väänänen, 2019). According to this hypothesis, psychological strain arises when there is a combination of high psychological demands, inadequate choice freedom for the worker, and insufficient social support at work, which further amplifies the danger. This hypothesis has also been validated in a prior research, which demonstrated its ability to forecast incidents of workplace violence among police officers (Di Martino, 2019). Thus, the current research postulates that these psychological characteristics are also strongly linked to workplace violence (WPV) among healthcare personnel. Furthermore, it was shown that workplace violence is linked to a higher degree of psychological discomfort (Di Martino, 2019). Additionally, it is associated with worker dissatisfaction, irritability, melancholy, migraines, and exhaustion (Gold and Caborn, 2021). The effects of workplace violence (WPV) extend beyond individuals and are widely acknowledged as a catalyst for negative organisational behaviour, including a rise in job turnover. Workplace violence in healthcare include a range of behaviours, such as verbal abuse, threats, physical attacks, and sexual harassment. These occurrences may have significant impacts on the overall welfare of healthcare professionals, resulting in physical harm, psychological distress, reduced job contentment, and perhaps even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Moreover, workplace violence has the potential to interrupt the provision of healthcare services, jeopardise the safety of patients, and lead to higher healthcare expenses. Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to assess the risk factors and implications of workplace violence among health care workers in Cameroon.

Statement of the Problem

Workplace violence in the healthcare industry is a complex issue that involves health care personnel being subjected to verbal abuse, physical attacks, threats, and harassment while carrying out their job responsibilities. Healthcare professionals, despite their sympathetic and caring attitude, are at a higher risk of experiencing violence compared to those in other industries(Gold and Caborn, 2021). Research shows that occurrences of violence are frighteningly high in various healthcare settings worldwide. The implications of workplace violence on employees in an organization can be enormous. The effect can either be direct or indirect. 

Direct effects would be direct payment of compensation to victims who have been injured physically, and or medical expenditure incurred in restoring the victim. According to Burgess et al. (2018) workplace violence can lead to the departure of highly talented individuals and damage the quality of relationships among co-workers. In addition, the society incurs expenses such as unemployment, retraining, rehabilitation, and healthcare costs (Hoel, Sparks, & Cooper, 2021). However, stress has be found to ultimately lead to joblessness, psychological and physical ailments that significantly impact an individual's social status. Furthermore, the expenses associated with violence encompass healthcare and extensive rehabilitation to reintegrate victims, costs for unemployment and retraining of individuals who lose their jobs due to violence, and expenses related to disability and incapacity when victims' ability to work is hindered by violence in the workplace (Akeem, 2022). Prior research on violence in the workplace has mostly focused on the aspects that influence the immediate performance of businesses, such as workplace violence and productivity, while neglecting to explore their long-term risks and implications on organisations.   Thus, it is in the light of these that the study seeks to assess the risk factors and implications of workplace violence among health care workers in Cameroon.

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to assess the risk factors and implications of workplace violence among health care workers in Cameroon. Specifically, the study will;

1.Examine the risk factors associated with workplace violence among health care workers in Cameroon.

2.Investigate the psychological implications of workplace violence on healthcare workers in Cameroon. 

3.Propose strategies for preventing workplace violence among health care workers in Cameroon.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

What are the risk factors associated with workplace violence among health care workers in Cameroon?

2. What are the psychological  implications of workplace violence on healthcare workers in Cameroon?

3. What are strategies for preventing workplace violence among health care workers in Cameroon?

1.5  Research Hypotheses

H0: There is no significant relationship between risk factors associated with workplace violence and its implications among healthcare workers in Cameroon.

Ha: There is a significant relationship between risk factors associated with workplace violence and its implications among healthcare workers in Cameroon.

1.6  Significance of the Study

This research will help human resource professionals to develop effective strategies for preventing and managing workplace violence among health care workers. Additionally, it will provide insights into the psychological mechanisms underlying violence behavior and its impact on organizational productivity. Furthermore, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to the risk factors and implications of workplace violence among health care workers in Cameroon.

1.7 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on assess the risk factors and implications of workplace violence among health care workers in Cameroon. Empirically, the study will examine the risk factors associated with workplace violence among health care workers in Cameroon, investigate the psychological  implications of workplace violence on healthcare workers in Cameroon and propose strategies for preventing and managing workplace violence among health care workers in Cameroon.

Geographically, the study will be delimited to employees in some selected health center in Douala, Cameroon.

1.8 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed. More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

 1.9 Definition of Terms

Workplace Violence: defines as the intentional use of power, threatened or actual, against another person or against a group, in work-related circumstances, that either results in or has a high degree of likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, mal-development, or deprivation (WHO, 2018).

Risk factor: is a condition or circumstance that may increase the likelihood of violence occurring in a particular setting.

Health Worker: is an individual who is employed in the healthcare sector and provides various types of medical, therapeutic, or supportive services to patients or clients.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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