Assessment of occupational violence towards pharmacists at practice settings in Nigeria

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Pharmacists, Pharmacies, Workplace Violence, Aggression, Incidence, Job Satisfaction, Waiting Lists, Cross-Sectional Studies, Nigeria


Background: Occupational Violence is prevalent among healthcare workers, including pharmacists, and poses a big threat to their job satisfaction, safety, and social wellbeing.

Objective: This study seeks to assess the incidents and factors associated with occupational violence towards pharmacists in Nigeria.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among pharmacists practicing in Nigeria, using an online survey (Google FormTM). Occupational violence was assessed using a validated questionnaire. The survey was conducted and reported based on the Checklist for Reporting Results of Internet E-Surveys (CHERRIES). Participants were recruited by sharing the survey link via social media platforms including WhatsApp, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Results: A total of 263 respondents returned the online questionnaire, with a completion rate of 99.2%. The prevalence of occupational violence was 92.7% (95% CI, 90 to 96). Violent events occurred among 48.7% of pharmacists with at least six years of experience, and 68.4% of hospital pharmacists. The commonly reported factors associated with the violence include long waiting times in the pharmacy (36.5%), refusal to fulfil aggressor’s demands (22.1%), and counseling/poor communication (21.7%). Events related to verbal abuse were reported among 95% of the participants. The prevalence of violence was significantly higher among hospital pharmacists, compared with those practicing in administration/regulatory, and in community pharmacies (chi-square=10.213 (2); p=0.006). Similarly, physical aggression was higher among hospital pharmacists (chi-square=10.646 (2), p = 0.005).

Conclusions: The prevalence of occupational violence towards pharmacists practicing in Nigeria appeared to be high. Major factors associated with the violence were refusal to fulfil aggressors’ demands and frustrations due to long waiting times at pharmacy. Recommended strategies to slowdown the incidences of violence were improved pharmacists’ workforce, interprofessional harmony, and penalties against perpetrators.


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