Health care professionals, including physicians, are at high risk of encountering workplace violence. At the same time physician turnover is an increasing problem that threatens the functioning of the health care sector worldwide. The present study examined the prospective associations of work-related physical violence and bullying with physicians' turnover intentions and job satisfaction. In addition, we tested whether job control would modify these associations.
The present study was a 4-year longitudinal survey study, with data gathered in 2006 and 2010.The present sample included 1515 (61% women) Finnish physicians aged 25-63 years at baseline. Analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) were conducted while adjusting for gender, age, baseline levels, specialisation status, and employment sector.
The results of covariance analyses showed that physical violence led to increased physician turnover intentions and that both bullying and physical violence led to reduced physician job satisfaction even after adjustments. We also found that opportunities for job control were able to alleviate the increase in turnover intentions resulting from bullying.
Our results suggest that workplace violence is an extensive problem in the health care sector and may lead to increased turnover and job dissatisfaction. Thus, health care organisations should approach this problem through different means, for example, by giving health care employees more opportunities to control their own work.
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