Workplace bullying among nurses at a psychiatric hospital in the Western Cape
Workplace violence is a worldwide issue, yet it remains underreported. Incidences of workplace violence, include, physical violence, verbal abuse, bullying, as well as sexual and racial harassment. Bullying is defined as any type of repetitive abuse, in which victims suffer verbal abuse, threats, humiliation or intimidating behaviours, or behaviours, by perpetrators that interfere with the victims’ job performance and place their health and safety at risk. The prevalence of workplace bullying might be underreported due to the embarrassment that victims have to endure, or because of fear. Research has revealed that, in South Africa, in the public hospitals of Cape Town, despite the end of Apartheid, there are still subtle, but unspoken, tensions between racial groups. It can be assumed that such tensions are likely to escalate in the work environment and lead to workplace bullying. Yet, there is a lack of documented workplace bullying in Cape Town psychiatric hospitals, especially workplace bullying among nursing staff in public hospitals. This study, therefore, investigated workplace bullying at a psychiatric setting in the Western Cape. The researcher used a quantitative research approach and a cross-sectional design to determine the extent to which workplace bullying occur among nursing staff at a Psychiatric Hospital in the Western Cape. Random sampling was used to obtain 119 completed self- administered questionnaires, during 2015. The Negative Acts Questionnaire-Revised was slightly adapted; a total of fifty eight (58) questions were sub-divided into three sections. The researcher computed the Cronbach Alpha coefficient to test the reliability and internal validity of the data analysis. The Cronbach Alpha coefficient was 0.87, which was above the accepted cut off of 0.7. Therefore, the reliability and internal validity were confirmed. The reliability was also ensured through the factor analysis, which technique was applied in the data analysis. The data analysis was done with the assistance of a statistician. The study used statistical analysis, which included descriptive statistics and bivariate analysis. The bivariate analysis used descriptive statistics and consequently calculated the frequency, proportion, mean and standard deviation of individual items, in order to describe workplace bullying. To determine the association between the variables, the Kolmogorov-Smirmov test was applied, to test the normality of the two variables, before deciding on the application of either Pearson’s or Spearman’rho’s correlation. To establish the difference in means, the t-test and ANOVA was applied. EXCEL and SPSS 22 software were used as tools. The findings indicated that there was high prevalence of workplace bullying, as 67(56.3%) declared that they were bullied in their workplace, during the previous 12 months, and 44(65.7%) disclosed that they considered the acts as typical incidents of bullying in workplace. The majority of the victims, 43(64.2%) were females and 19 (28.4%) were between 30-39 years old. However, most respondents, 32(47.8%), declared that the bullying incidents were not investigated. Additionally, the researcher identified that there were two types of workplace bullying, namely, personal bullying and administrative-social exclusive bullying, based on the Principal Component Analysis. Age-group, ethnicity, length of stay in nursing career and marital status did not play a role in the exposure of nurses to personal bullying, but gender did. Similar results were found for administrative-social exclusive bullying.