Horizontal Violence Toward Emergency Medicine Residents: Gender as a Risk Factor
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Horizontal Violence Toward Emergency Medicine Residents: Gender as a Risk Factor


Introduction: Horizontal violence (HV) is defined as “persistent exposure to interpersonal aggression and mistreatment from colleagues.” Our objective in this pilot, single-site study was to identify sources of HV toward emergency medicine (EM) residents, using the Negative Acts Questionnaire-Revised (NAQ-R).

Methods: In this investigation we used a descriptive cross-sectional survey design to categorize HV. All voluntary participants were residents in an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education- approved, three-year academic EM residency. Data were collected via electronic survey and occurred six months into an academic year. We collected demographic information and responses to the NAQ-R in 2020. Horizontal violence is subdivided into three categories: work-related; person-related; and physical intimidation. Emergency medicine residents answered questions as they related to their interactions with residents and support staff, which included nursing.

Results: A total of 23 of 26 residents responded (89%). Participants were 56% women, 78% white, 11% Hispanic, and 89% heterosexual. Participant clinical year was 39% first-, 39% second-, and 22% third-year residents. Women reported a higher frequency of HV compared to men (1.3 vs 1.1, P =.01). By category, women indicated higher incidence of work-related violence from other residents (P = .05) and staff (P =.02). There was no difference in reported frequency of violence for interns compared to senior residents. 

Conclusion: Our pilot study demonstrated horizontal violence toward EM residents exists and is more prevalent in women.


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