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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

On-line version ISSN 2071-9736
Print version ISSN 1025-9848


MEYER, Helen W.  and  KIRSTEN, Tiaan G.J.C.. The effect of psychological violence in the workplace on health: A holistic eco-system approach. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2014, vol.19, n.1, pp.1-11. ISSN 2071-9736.

BACKGROUND: Psychological violence has emerged as a priority concern in all workplaces because of its adverse consequences on victims' health. So far, limited research has been conducted on the effect of psychological violence on the five interrelated contexts of human existence. OBJECTIVES: This qualitative study investigated the perceived effect of psychological violence in the workplace on staff members' holistic health at a multi-campus South African Further Education and Training College. By investigating the effect of psychological violence on these five interrelated contexts, the resultant effect on holistic health might be more fully understood and applicable recommendations formulated to ameliorate the perceived effects. METHOD: A qualitative, exploratory and descriptive research design was used to investigate the perceived effect of psychological violence on staff members' health. Purposeful sampling was used to select 29 participants to be interviewed individually, based on their experiences of psychological violence, as well as data saturation. The researcher analysed the data and a co-coder cross-checked the codes. RESULTS: The results pertaining to the perceived effects of psychological violence were positioned within the holistic eco-systemic approach as encompassing theory. Five themes were identified accordingly after data analysis, namely, psychological, biophysical, spiritual, ecological and metaphysical effects. CONCLUSION: Findings revealed that psychological violence impacts adversely on all five interrelated contexts of individual health, leading to an adverse cumulative effect on staff members' holistic health and on the systems in which psychological violence occurs. Based on the findings, recommendations could be made to ameliorate the perceived adverse effect of psychological violence.

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