Incidents of violence by healthcare users against staff have been considered as sentinel events. New forms of aggression, i.e., cyberbullying, have emerged with the advent of social networks. Medical literature includes some reports about workplace cyberbullying on nurses and young doctors by colleagues/supervisors, but not by users. To investigate cyberbullying on healthcare providers via social networks, we carried out an exploratory quali-quantitative study, researching and analyzing posts and comments relating to a local Health Trust (ASL5) in Italy, published from 2013 until May 2020 on healthcare worker aggressions on social networks on every local community’s Facebook page. We developed a thematic matrix through an analysis of the most recurring meaning categories (framework method). We collected 217 texts (25 posts and 192 comments): 26% positive and 74% negative. Positive posts were shared about ten times more than negative ones. Negative comments received about double the “Likes” than the positive ones. Analysis highlighted three main meaning categories: 1. lack of adequate and functional structures; 2. negative point of view (POV) towards some departments; 3. positive POV towards others. No significant differences were observed between the various categories of healthcare workers (HCW). Geriatric, medical wards and emergency department were the most frequent targets of negative comments. All the texts referred to first-line operators except for one. Online violence against HCW is a real, largely unknown, problem that needs immediate and concrete attention for its potentially disastrous consequences. Compared to traditional face-to-face bullying, it can be more dangerous as it is contagious and diffusive, without spatial, temporal or personal boundaries.

Aggressions on social networks: What are the implications for healthcare providers? an exploratory research

Ramacciati N.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Incidents of violence by healthcare users against staff have been considered as sentinel events. New forms of aggression, i.e., cyberbullying, have emerged with the advent of social networks. Medical literature includes some reports about workplace cyberbullying on nurses and young doctors by colleagues/supervisors, but not by users. To investigate cyberbullying on healthcare providers via social networks, we carried out an exploratory quali-quantitative study, researching and analyzing posts and comments relating to a local Health Trust (ASL5) in Italy, published from 2013 until May 2020 on healthcare worker aggressions on social networks on every local community’s Facebook page. We developed a thematic matrix through an analysis of the most recurring meaning categories (framework method). We collected 217 texts (25 posts and 192 comments): 26% positive and 74% negative. Positive posts were shared about ten times more than negative ones. Negative comments received about double the “Likes” than the positive ones. Analysis highlighted three main meaning categories: 1. lack of adequate and functional structures; 2. negative point of view (POV) towards some departments; 3. positive POV towards others. No significant differences were observed between the various categories of healthcare workers (HCW). Geriatric, medical wards and emergency department were the most frequent targets of negative comments. All the texts referred to first-line operators except for one. Online violence against HCW is a real, largely unknown, problem that needs immediate and concrete attention for its potentially disastrous consequences. Compared to traditional face-to-face bullying, it can be more dangerous as it is contagious and diffusive, without spatial, temporal or personal boundaries.
Aggressions
Cyberbullying
Healthcare providers
Law
Social networks
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/343071
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