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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


SERRANO VICENTE, María Isabel; FERNANDEZ RODRIGO, María Teresa; SATUSTEGUI DORDA, Pedro José  and  URCOLA PARDO, Fernando. Agression to health care personnel in Spain: a systematic review. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2019, vol.93, e201910097.  Epub Sep 07, 2020. ISSN 2173-9110.


The increase in violence in the health sector in recent years has had important consequences on the health of workers who have been attacked. This systematic review is proposed, whose objective was to update and systematically review the available scientific literature on the aggressions against workers in the health sector in Spain.


A systematic review of the literature on aggressions to the health care personnel was carried out. The following database were searched: Scielo, Cuidatge, Medline, Cuiden, Scopus, Dialnet, Ibecs, Sciencedirect, Medes, Enfispo, Ibecs, Lilacs, CSIC and Embase databases. All original articles were included until April 2019, published in English or Spanish.


Twenty-three studies were included. The methodological quality of the included studies was good. The aggression that occur tend to follow the same pattern; they are mostly verbal and psychological aggressions, often accompanied by threats. Patients are the main aggressors, to normally doctors and nurses. The main causes are waiting times and delays, rarely the facts are reported or recorded.


There is an increase in the magnitude of the phenomenon in recent years, in most cases the aggressors are men, whereas the aggressed professionals are mostly women. The variability in the records of aggression notifications and in the questionnaires used in the different studies, as well as the subjectivity and interpretation of these facts, make comparison between them difficult.

Keywords : Workplace violence; Aggression; Health care personnel; Spain.

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