Patient abuse levels equal for GPs and non-GPs

GPs are as likely as their front-line reception staff to experience violence and/orabuse from patients, new research has indicated.

A University of Newcastle survey of 125 practice staff – including GPs, practice nurses, allied health workers, practice managers and receptionists – found no significant difference between reported rates of abuse and violence against GPs and non-GP staff. The majority experienced abuse in the past year.

“Our hypothesis of non-GPs experiencing greater levels of violence was not supported,” wrote Dr Parker Magin, lead author and senior lecturer in general practice at the University of Newcastle.

“It is clear that occupational violence is a major issue for non-GP staff – at least as much as it is for GPs.”

Of all respondents who experienced abuse, almost two-thirds had suffered verbal abuse, 31% had received threats, 35% endured ‘slander’, 14% suffered