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

Akshaya Srikanth Bhagavathula, Kehinde Obamiro, Zahid Hussain, Wubshet Tesfaye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The rate of violence against health care workers is increasing worldwide. Pharmacists are the most accessible and frequently visited health care team members and are potentially more susceptible to violence than other health care workers. Objective(s): This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to estimate the magnitude of workplace violence toward pharmacists. Methods: We comprehensively searched PubMed, Scopus, and Embase from their inception 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 6 studies comprising 1896 pharmacists met the criteria for meta-analysis. The pooled estimate of workplace violence was 45% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 30-60%), and 39% (95% CI: 24-55%) experienced violent events over preceding 12 months. Considerable proportion of pharmacists experienced some form of violence (65%, 95% CI: 41-88%), verbal abuse (50%, 95% CI: 36-65%), threats (42%, 95% CI: 26-59%) or assaults (27%, 95% CI: 9-46%). Moreover, 56% (95% CI: 23-89%) of pharmacists reported experiencing physical and/or verbal violence over the previous 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-31
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Pharmacists Association
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


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