Bullying Among Hospital Staff: Use of Psychometric Triage to Identify Intervention Priorities

Geir Steinar Eriksen, Ivan Nygreen, Floyd Webster Rudmin


Survey of workplace bullying in a Norwegian hospital found that 10% of nurses, therapists, and physicians (N=440) had witnessed bullying. Negative Acts Questionnaire (NAQ) scores were low, Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ) scores were positive, and Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ) scores were neutral. NAQ scores and having witnessed bullying both predicted low MSQ scores, low over-all job satisfaction, and low OCQ scores. By psychometric triage, some of the NAQ’s 22 negative acts can be identified for priority administrative intervention based on a) the degree to NAQ items predict decreased satisfaction and decreased commitment, b) the prevalence rates of particular negative acts, and c) efficiency of intervention. Psychometric triage recommended intervention 1st on the problem of “necessary information withheld”, which had an 18% prevalence rate and predicted lower MSQ and OCQ scores. The 2nd priority should be on “pressure to give up entitlements”, which had prevalence of 2% but also predicted lower MSQ and OCQ scores. The 3rd and 4th priorities should focus on “tasks below level of competence” (reported by 51%) and on “unmanageable workload” (reported by 28%), neither of which predicted MSQ or OCQ scores.

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bullying, hospital, mobbing, Norway, psychometric triage

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ISSN 1832-7931
Swinburne University of Technology