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The Effects of Occupational Violence on the Well-being and Resilience of Nurses

Rees, Clare, PhD; Wirihana, Lisa, PhD, RN; Eley, Rob, PhD; Ossieran-Moisson, Rebecca, MSc; Hegney, Desley, PhD, RN

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: September 2018 - Volume 48 - Issue 9 - p 452–458
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000648

OBJECTIVE This article reports findings from a 2016 survey exploring the working life of nurses/midwives in Queensland, Australia. Responses related to occupational violence (OV) are reported.

BACKGROUND OV is linked to high rates of burnout. It is imperative to continue efforts to understand how to avoid burnout and build nurse/midwives' resilience.

METHODS A total of 2397 nurse/midwives working in Queensland responded to the survey and were asked to answer 8 questions related to OV.

RESULTS In the last 3 months, 53% of nurses/midwives had experienced OV. Those respondents had significantly higher rates of burnout and lower resilience and rated the practice environment lower than their counterparts who had not experienced violence.

CONCLUSIONS The experience of OV significantly impacts nurse resilience and levels of burnout. To retain nurses, attention must be given to reduce OV and support nurses who have experienced it.

Author Affiliations: Professor (Dr Rees), School of Psychology, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia; Senior Lecturer (Dr Wirihana), School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Sciences, Central Queensland University, Noosa; Academic Research Manager (Dr Eley), Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane; Research Officer (Ms Ossieran-Moisson), School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia; Professorial Research Fellow (Dr Hegney), Research Division, Central Queensland University, Brisbane, Queensland, and Adjunct Professor of Nursing (Dr Hegney), School of Nursing, The University of Adelaide, South Australia.

D.H. was a financial member of the Queensland Nurses' and Midwives Union at the time of the study. She did not hold any official positions, and nor was a member of any of the branches.

The other authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Rees, School of Psychology, Curtin University, Bentley, Western Australia 6102 (

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