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Health consequences of bullying in the healthcare workplace: a systematic review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Isabelle Lever, Daniel Dyball, N Greenberg, Sharon Stevelink

Original languageChinese
Pages (from-to)3195-3209
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


King's Authors


Aims: To review both mental and physical health consequences of bullying for healthcare employees. Design: Systematic literature review. Data sources: EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, PUBMED and Web of Science Core Collection were searched for articles published between 2005 - January 2017. Review methods: This review was conducted using the framework described by Khan and reported using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. Two independent reviewers performed systematic data extraction and appraised the methodological quality of included articles. A pooled mean prevalence of bullying was estimated. Results: Forty-five papers met inclusion criteria. Bullying prevalence ranged from 3.9% to 86.5%, with a pooled mean estimate of 26.3%. Perceived bullying was associated with mental health problems including psychological distress, depression and burnout, and physical health problems including insomnia and headache. Bullied staff took more sick leave. Conclusion: Bullying occurs frequently amongst healthcare staff and is deleterious to health and occupational functionality.

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