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Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00059

Mental Health Nurse's Exposure to Workplace Violence Leads to Job Stress, Which Leads to Reduced Professional Quality of Life

 Michal Itzhaki1, Irit Bluvstein2, Anat B. Peles3, Hava Kostistky4, Dor Bar Noy4, Vivian Filshtinsky4 and  Miriam Theilla1*
  • 1Nursing Department, Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • 2Nursing Department, School of Health Professions and The Herczeg Institute on Aging, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • 3Sheba Medical Center, Israel
  • 4Sha'ar Menashe Mental Health Center, Israel

Professional quality of life (ProQOL) reflects how individuals feel about their work as helpers. Psychiatric ward nurses cope with significant psychological and physical challenges, including exposure to verbal and physical violence. This study was based on two aspects of ProQOL, the positive compassion satisfaction, and the negative compassion fatigue, with the aim of investigating the relation of ProQOL to job stress and violence exposure at a large mental health center. Data were collected from 114 mental health nurses (49/63 M/F) who completed a self administered questionnaire examining violence exposure, ProQOL, and job stress. The results showed that during the last year, almost all nurses (88.6%) experienced verbal violence, and more than half (56.1%) experienced physical violence. Only 2.6% experienced no violence. ProQOL was not associated with violence exposure but was reduced by work stress and by previous exposure to violence; nurses who perceived their work as more stressful had lower satisfaction from their work. In conclusion, although most mental health nurses are exposed to physical and verbal violence, their ProQOL is more related to job stress than to workplace violence. Hospital managements should conduct work stress reduction intervention programs and promote strategizes to reduce workplace violence. Further exploration of: (a) Factors affecting ProQOL and (b) The effect of violence coping workshops on ProQOL, is warranted.

Keywords: Workplace Violence, Professional Quality of Life, ProQol, Job stress, Mental health nurses, Compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue

Received: 02 Jan 2018; Accepted: 12 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Tilman Steinert, ZfP Südwürttemberg, Germany

Reviewed by:

Peter Lepping, Bangor University, United Kingdom
Anastasia Theodoridou, University of Zurich, Psychiatric Hospital, Switzerland  

Copyright: © 2018 Itzhaki, Bluvstein, Peles, Kostistky, Bar Noy, Filshtinsky and Theilla. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Miriam Theilla, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Nursing Department, Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions, Tel Aviv, 6997801, Israel,