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Violence towards doctors in Bulgaria – pilot results on general practitioners views


Donka D. Dimitrova1 / Lubomir K. Kyrov2 / Nevena G. Ivanova3
1Department of Health Management, Faculty of Public Health, Health Economics and Primary care, Medical University, Plovdiv
2National Association of General Practitioners in Bulgaria, Sofia, Bulgaria
3Department of Health Management, Faculty of Public Health, Health Economics and Primary care, Medical University, Plovdiv
Correspondence and reprint request to: D. Dimitrova, Faculty of Public Health, Dept. of Health Care Management, HealthCare economics and Primary care, Medical University, Plovdiv;E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Mob: 0889 903 51015A Vassil Aprilov St, 4002 Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Citation Information: Folia Medica. Volume 53, Issue 4, Pages 66–73, ISSN (Online) 1314-2143, ISSN (Print) 0204-8043, DOI: 10.2478/v10153-011-0070-1, October 2012
Publication History:
Published Online:




INTRODUCTION: Violent behaviour may be an appropriate response to a given set of environmental conditions in nature. Social organizations as power systems ensure stability through force or threat. However, there is a growing concern about the violence against health service staff in both hospitals and outpatient facilities.

AIM: To study the frequency, types and determinants of patient violence towards health professionals in primary care in Bulgaria and to fi nd the specifi c characteristics of violent behaviour in patient subgroups as well as the attitudes of providers.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A sample of 165 doctors from primary care institutions in Bulgaria participated in a questionnaire study using a specially developed research tool.

RESULTS: Prevalence of violent patient behaviour has not been studied extensively in Bulgaria leaving a gap in research data. The participating physicians, however, reported that there is a serious increase in the frequency and diversity of aggressive behaviour towards medical profession by patients and negative attitude of the general public indicating serious issues in public health care.

CONCLUSION: Most often patients’ aggression was provoked by factors associated with the health system organization and effectiveness and the socio-economic status of the population.