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Workplace violence against pharmacists: A systematic review and meta-analysis

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 11:02 authored by Bhagavathula, AS, Kehinde ObamiroKehinde Obamiro, Hussain, Z, Tesfaye, W

Background: The rate of violence against healthcare workers is increasing worldwide. Pharmacists are the most accessible and frequently visited healthcare team members and are potentially more susceptible to violence than other healthcare workers.

Aim: This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to estimate the magnitude of workplace violence towards pharmacists.

Methods: We comprehensively searched PubMed, Scopus, and Embase from till December 2021 for pertinent studies that reported workplace violence incidents against pharmacists. Rates of workplace violence against pharmacists were calculated in a meta-analysis using a random-effects model.

Results: Overall, 624 articles were found, and six studies comprising 1896 pharmacists met the criteria for meta-analysis. The pooled estimate of workplace violence was 45% (95% CI: 30 – 60), and 39% (95% CI: 24 – 55) experienced violent events over preceding 12 months. Most of the pharmacists experienced violence (65%, 95% CI: 41 – 88), verbal abuse (50%, 95% CI: 36 – 65), threats (42%, 95% CI: 26 – 59) and assaults (27%, 95% CI: 9 – 46). Moreover, 56% (95% CI: 23 – 89) of the pharmacists reported experiencing physical and verbal violence in the past 12 months.

Conclusion: The analysis reveals the high rate of workplace violence in the pharmacy environment, with nearly half of pharmacists affected. While more studies are required, the limited evidence suggests the need to ensure safe workspaces in pharmacy environments through implementation of appropriate policies and legislation.


Publication title

Journal of the American Pharmacists Association






School of Health Sciences


American Pharmacists Association

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

Copyright 2022 American Pharmacists Association®

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Workplace safety

Usage metrics

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