To determine the extent of aggression from the patient or his family to which paediatricians and trainee paediatricians in the Netherlands are exposed.
Data were collected using anonymous questionnaires distributed to doctors working in the field of paediatrics in the Netherlands during the annual congress of the Paediatric Association of the Netherlands in 2002.
A total of 395 usable questionnaires were returned. 78 of the respondents reported that they had, at some time, been confronted with aggression. Verbal aggression was the most common form (75 of the respondents) and was experienced mainly by doctors with little work experience (63 in the preceding year). 20 of the respondents were aware of the existence of training programmes on dealing with aggression in their hospitals, whereas 47 said that they needed such training.
Aggression in connection with paediatric care was reported by 78 of the respondents, especially verbal aggression directed at doctors with little work experience. Training on how to cope with aggression might be a useful addition to the paediatric curriculum.
Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd 2005;149:542-4