Verbal violence and missed nursing care: A phenomenological study

Bayram A., Özsaban A., Torun Kiliç Ç.

INTERNATIONAL NURSING REVIEW, vol.70, no.4, pp.544-551, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 70 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/inr.12882
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, CINAHL, EMBASE, Public Affairs Index
  • Page Numbers: pp.544-551
  • Keywords: Care, missed nursing care, nurse, nursing care, qualitative design, Turkey, verbal violence
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


AimTo define the missed care experiences of nurses exposed to verbal violence from patients.BackgroundVerbal violence takes the first place among the types of violence that nurses face in healthcare settings. This can cause negative emotional and physical responses in nurses and issues in patient and nurse interaction. As a result, it may lead to missed nursing care, defined as skipped, postponed or incomplete care during the patient's care.MethodsThis is a phenomenological study. The study sample included 16 nurses working in inpatient clinics who reported experiencing verbal violence at least once in Turkey. The study was conducted between January and February 2022 with institutional permission and ethics committee approval (09/12/2021-2021/357). A semi-structured interview method was used to collect data. The information gathered from the interviews underwent thematic analysis using an inductive approach. The 'Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ)' was used to report this qualitative study based on a comprehensive protocol.ResultsThe types of verbal violence most frequently faced by nurses were determined as swearing, insulting, shouting and threats. Study findings were classified into three main themes: (i) response to verbal violence, (ii) missed nursing care experiences and (iii) suggestions to cope with verbal violence. The most felt emotions in the face of verbal violence were feeling sad, unsafe and worthless. Nurses common behaviours, in response to verbal abuse were ignoring, getting used to, and wishing to get away. The examples of missed care included using non-therapeutic communication, postponing care or withdrawing from care.ConclusionVerbal violence caused negative emotional and behavioural responses in nurses, which, in turn, negatively affected the nurse-patient interaction. These findings mean that verbal violence may pave the way for missed nursing care.Implications for nursing policyAccording to these findings, an uninterrupted nursing care process needs to focus on preventive measures against verbal violence and increase the administrative and legal support offered to nurses.