National and international studies have highlighted that healthcare workers are increasingly facing episodes of verbal and physical violence. Empirical evidence supports the hypothesis that aggressive behaviors by patients can generate burnout processes. However few studies have investigated the workplace resources that can lessen the impact of such social stressor on the well-being of healthcare workers. We analyzed if and under what circumstances different types of resources, emotional (colleagues’ support, managers’ support) and cognitive ones (decision authority and job meaning), lessen the negative impact of verbal aggression on burnout and emotional well-being. This exploratory cross-sectional study was conducted on the healthcare workers of a surgery department (133 workers with a 67% response rate). Data was collected via a self-report questionnaire. A moderated hierarchical regressions analysis highlighted that aggressive behaviors are important predictors of burnout and affective wellbeing. The support of colleagues and managers and, to a lesser extent, the attribution of meaning to one’s work moderate the negative impact on emotional exhaustion. Affective well-being is shown to be moderated by colleagues’ support, and by the perception of decision authority. In addition we found that the attribution of meaning to one’s work positively influences well-being in cases of highly aggressive patient behavior. The study highlights some socio-organizational factors that protect against social stressor tied to the interaction with patients in healthcare contexts.
Keywords: Workplace violence, patients, nursing, burnout, occupational health, Demand Induced Strain Compensation Model.
Chiara Guglielmetti, Silvia Gilardi, Lucia Accorsi, Daniela Converso, The relationship with patients in healthcare: which workplace resources can lessen the impact of social stressor? in "PSICOLOGIA DELLA SALUTE" 2/2014, pp. 121-137, DOI:10.3280/PDS2014-002008