Breaching the Bridge: An investigation into doctor-patient miscommunication as a significant factor in the violence against healthcare workers in Palestine
Publication Type
Original research

Background: Workplace violence is a common issue worldwide that strikes all professions, and healthcare is one of the most susceptible ones. Verbal and non-verbal miscommunications between healthcare workers and patients are major inducers for violent attacks. Aim: To study the potential impact of verbal and nonverbal miscommunications between the patients and healthcare workers upon workplace violence from the patients' perspectives. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was performed from November to December 2020. Patients and previously hospitalized patients were asked to complete a self-reported questionnaire that involved items of verbal and nonverbal miscommunication. With the use of a suitable available sample composed of 550 participants, 505 had completed the questionnaire and were included in the study. The data were analyzed by using SPSS version 22 software. Results: 7.2% of the study population reported participating in nonverbal violence and 19.6% participated in verbal violence against healthcare workers. The nonverbal and verbal violence was characteristically displayed by the patients who are male, younger than 30 years old, and bachelor's degree holders. The results of the study demonstrated that the verbal and nonverbal miscommunications between the patients and healthcare workers were the major factors in provoking violent responses from patients. Factors, such as age, gender, and level of education, were significant indicators of the type of patients who were more likely to respond with violence. Conclusion: Workplace violence, either verbal or nonverbal, in the health sector is a public health concern in Palestine. The verbal and non-verbal communication skills of healthcare workers should be developed well enough to overcome the effect of miscommunication provoking violent acts from patients and their relatives as well.

BioMed Research International
Publisher Country
United Kingdom
Impact Factor
Publication Type
Both (Printed and Online)