Research Article| Volume 32, ISSUE 2, P242-247, April 2018

Prevalence of Workplace Violence Against Chinese Nurses and Its Association with Mental Health: A Cross-sectional Survey

Published:November 06, 2017DOI:


      • In China, research on WPV has begun only recently. Therefore, the present study primarily focuses on the mental health of nurses, explored the prevalence of WPV in China’s hospitals, examined the influence of WPV on mental health of nurses, and attempted to provide empirical evidence for the negative effects of WPV in hospitals.
      • An interesting phenomenon was identified in the present study. We found that service years played a role in the relationship between WPV and anxiety. This greatly contributed to a better understanding of the association between WPV and mental health.
      • Our findings also proved that gender moderated the relationship between WPV and depression.
      • Strength is a big sample and the fact that this is the early study in China on this subject. This study can arouse public concerns regarding the need to pay more attention to the nurses’ suffering and to provide related strategies to tackle WPV.



      The aim of this study to investigate the prevalence of workplace violence (WPV) in nurses in hospitals in China, and its influence on nurses' mental health.


      A cross-sectional, anonymous survey was conducted with 886 nurses (effective response rate: 87.46%) from Heilongjiang Province of China.


      Findings revealed that 595 of the 886 participating nurses (67.2%) were exposed to different levels of WPV. Further, WPV was correlated positively with nurses' anxiety (r = 0.256, P < 0.01) and depression (r = 0.131, P < 0.01) levels. In addition, this survey demonstrated that service years (r = 0.263, P < 0.01) played a moderating role in the relationship between WPV and anxiety, and gender (r = 0.135, P < 0.01) played a moderating role in the association between WPV and depression.


      WPV is an extensive problem in the work setting of nurses and it poses a major threat to Chinese nurses. Chinese nurses encounter hospital workplace violence frequently, and WPV has a considerably negative impact on the mental health and well-being of the nurses. It is critical to establish a more secure working environment for Chinese nursing staff to minimize the health threats caused by the negative outcomes associated with WPV, such as symptoms caused by anxiety and depression. This study also confirmed that new nurses and female nurses were more likely to be affected by WPV. Thus, addressing WPV should be one of the top concerns for both the government and the society.


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