Work-related threats and violence in human service sectors

Tidsskriftartikel - 2018

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BACKGROUND: Threats and violence at work are major concerns for employees in many human service sectors. The prevention of work-related violence is a major challenge for employees and management.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to identify prospective associations between psycho-social work environment and work-related threats and violence in four high risk human service sectors.

METHODS: Questionnaire data was collected from 3011 employees working at psychiatric wards, in the elder sector, in the Prison and Probation Service and at Special Schools. Associations between psycho-social work environment and work-related violence and threats were then studied using a one-year follow-up design and multilevel logistic regression analyses.

RESULTS: The analyses showed that quantitative demands, high emotional demands, low level of influence over own work-situation, low predictability, low rewards at work, low role clarity, many role conflicts, many work-family conflicts and low organizational justice had statistically significant associations with high levels of work-related threats. Furthermore, high emotional demands, low predictability, low role clarity, many role conflicts, many work-family conflicts, low supervisor quality and low support from nearest supervisor had statistically significant associations with high levels of work-related violence. Finally, across the four sectors both similar and different associations between psycho-social work environment and work-related violence and threats were found.

CONCLUSION: The results of the study underline the importance of including the psycho-social work environment as a supplement to existing violence prevention methods and interventions aimed at reducing work-related violence and threats.

Reference

Andersen LP, Hogh A, Biering K, Gadegaard CA. Work-related threats and violence in human service sectors: The importance of the psycho-social work environment examined in a multilevel prospective study. Work 2018;59(1):141-154.
doi: 10.3233/WOR-172654

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