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Human Resources for Health

, 1:11

First Online: 07 November 2003Received: 19 August 2003Accepted: 07 November 2003


This article characterizes the problem of violence against health professionals in the workplace VAHPITWP in selected settings in Portugal. It addresses the questions of what types of violence are most frequent and who are the most affected health professionals.

Three methodological approaches were followed: i documentary studies, ii a questionnaire-based hospital and health centre HC complex case study and iii semi-structured interviews with stakeholders.

Of the different types of violence, all our study approaches confirm that verbal violence is the most frequent. Discrimination, not infrequent in the hospital, seems to be underestimated by the stakeholders interviewed. Violence seems much more frequent in the HC than in the hospital. In the HC, all types of violence are also most frequently directed against female health workers and, in the hospital, against male workers.

These studies allow us to conclude that violence is frequent but underreported.

List of abbreviationsEUEuropean Union

GPGeneral practitioner

HCHealth centre

NHSNational Health Service

RHARegional Health Authority

VAHPITWPViolence against health professionals in the workplace

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Autor: Paulo Ferrinho - André Biscaia - Inês Fronteira - Isabel Craveiro - Ana Rita Antunes - Claudia Conceição - Isabel Flor


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