Biting the Hand that Heals: Mistreatment by Patients and the Well-being of Healthcare Workers
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between stress due to mistreatment by patients and caregivers’ own well-being indicators (anxiety, depression, and behavioral stress indicators). Based on predictions consistent with the job demands-resources model, it is anticipated that satisfaction with job resources would moderate the relationship between mistreatment by patients and well-being indicators. Design/methodology/approach Hypotheses were tested with a sample of 182 employees in a leading training and research university hospital in Istanbul, Turkey. Results were partially replicated for a separate sample of 122 healthcare workers. Data were collected using the survey methodology. Findings The findings suggest that patient injustice is positively related to depression and behavioral stress indicators when satisfaction with job resources is high. Results illustrate that satisfaction with job resources has a sensitizing, rather than a buffering, role on the relation between mistreatment by patients, depression, and behavioral stress indicators, negatively affecting employees with higher levels of satisfaction with job resources. Originality/value Organizational justice researchers recently started recognizing that in addition to organizational insiders, organizational outsiders such as customers and patients may also be sources of fair and unfair treatment. Based on this stream of research, unfair treatment from outsiders is associated with retaliation and a variety of negative employee outcomes. The study extends the currently accumulated work by examining how mistreatment from care recipients relates to healthcare workers’ own health outcomes.
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Karaeminogullari, A., Erdogan, B., & Bauer, T. N. (2018). Biting the hand that heals: mistreatment by patients and the well-being of healthcare workers. Personnel Review, 47(2), 572-591.