Sexual harassment by patients: The difference experience of female doctors, nurses and nurse aides

Ilya Kagan, Tami Gaash, Sasha Grigorash, Michal Sela, Yaffa Maximov, Shosh Cohen, Nili Tabak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Study Aim: To examine the incidence of sexual harassment of women staff by male hospital patients, and how experiencing it differs between doctors, nurses and nurse aides. Methods: 434 women staff in three large Israeli hospitals completed an anonymous self-administered questionnaire on (a) the frequency of sexual harassment by patients, (b) the emotional effect of a described instance of harassment, (c) what action respondents would take if confronted by the same incident. Results: Sexual harassment by male patients is common, ranges from mild innuendo to threats of rape, and creates great emotional distress. The younger the staff the more the harassment. Women doctors—the youngest staff group—were beset more than nurses and nurse aides and voiced the most negative emotional and behavioral reactions. Conclusions: The Israeli healthcare system is unprepared to deal with the phenomenon. Five measures are recommended as a minimum response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-20
Number of pages16
JournalMedicine and Law
Volume34
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Healthcare providers
  • Hospital patients
  • Sexual harassment
  • Women

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